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Heatwave with record-high temperatures sweeps across Europe
A heatwave has hit central and western Europe from Germany to Britain, with temperatures reaching record highs in many cities.
National weather services in Britain, Germany and France have confirmed some of their cities have been suffering from the hottest temperatures ever measured.
In Britain, a maritime country, the temperature has hit its hottest monthly record in July, according to the national weather service body Met Office.
The weather forecast office warned that the heat may spark thunderstorms, issuing a yellow national severe weather warning covering the majority of the country.
Large parts of central and western Europe have also been hit by a heatwave, the Met Office reported.
The hottest temperature ever measured in Germany -- 42.6 degrees Celsius -- has been recorded in the city of Lingen on Thursday, according to the country's National Meteorological Service (DWD).
A total of 25 weather stations across Germany have recorded temperatures of above 40 degrees, while 15 of them even measured temperatures that exceeded the old temperature record for Germany of 40.3 degrees from 2015, according to the DWD.
"Hot, hotter, Germany -- a day for weather history," the German weather service has commented on Twitter.
As a reaction to the blistering heat, Germany's Green party demanded in a heat action plan published on Thursday that employees who are working outdoors such as construction workers, building cleaners or workers in the agricultural sector would need a right to "reduced working hours."
The Confederation of German Employers' Associations, however, opposed the idea of reduced working hours due to heat, saying it would be the responsibility of the companies to take individual measures.
France, where the temperature average stands at 19.9 degrees for the June-August period, is witnessing "more intense and more frequent heatwaves" due to climate change, said the national weather center, Meteo France, on Wednesday.
The agency placed twenty departments in northern France, including Paris and surrounding communes, on heat wave red alert, the highest level on the agency's four-level scale, urging residents to be extremely vigilant.
People in France are recommended to stay indoors, keep cool and drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day to prevent heatstroke.
Sixty regions remained on orange alert as a hot spell is still engulfing 90 percent of French territory, the agency has said.