• A dangerous heat wave has Europe on high alert this week.
  • Western European countries including France, Germany, Spain, and Italy are bracing for temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius.
  • To cope with the heat, people are swimming, keeping hydrated, eating gelato, and staying out of the sun.
  • For more stories go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

Tourists and locals are sweating this week as a heat wave compared to "hell" hits Europe.

During the last major European heat wave in 2003, an estimated 15,000 people died in France.

This time, temperatures are likely to climb above 40 degree Celsius in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy as hot winds from the Sahara blow in across the continent, the Independent reported.

Here are photos of people doing their best - by swimming, drinking, eating gelato, and resting in the shade - to keep cool.

People are advised to cool off in the water several times a day. These Parisians and tourists listened to that advice, taking a dip in the Trocadero fountain by the Eiffel Tower.

People are also being told to head inside and keep cool in air conditioned places like supermarkets or cinemas.

Across Paris, 922 public locations have been identified as "cool places" to help people survive in the heat.

In addition to historic fountains, people in Paris can go to "gardens, parks, cemeteries, swimming pools, churches, and museums", France 24 reported.

Even though temperatures reached 30 degree Celsius in Paris on Monday, people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The hottest weather is expected in France, Italy, and Spain.

Major swimming pools in the city are remaining open late into the night to help with the heat, including ones in La Villette canal.

Sebastian Kunigkeit/picture alliance via Getty Images

There are also plans to set up temporary outdoor pools in some areas of the city.

And water bottles are being distributed at train stations.

Samuel Boivin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

France's health service recommends drinking plenty of fluids - while it provides a variety of drinking options, water is the most effective way to keep hydrated.

Elsewhere in France, people are using fountains to keep cool, like these folks in Nice.

Along with cooling off under fountains, The Local put together a number of handy tips to keeping the heat wave at bay.

Leaping into canals is another good way to cool off.


Across France there are about 5,000 miles of waterways, so there should be no shortage of places where people can swim.

Some people are taking cover from the sun with umbrellas.

France's health service recommends staying out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

But others are still soaking up rays.

There are worries that people could downplay the effects of the heatwave, but French health minister Agnès Buzyn wants it made clear that it will affect everyone.

The elderly are a particular focus for health services in France.

French President Emmanuel Macron called on people to be vigilant for the week, especially for the elderly, sick, pregnant, and very young.

Ice cream always helps to keep people cool.

Even if scientifically it might not be the best option for keeping body temperatures down.

According to The Conversation, while ice cream at first cools off the person eating it, once the stomach starts digesting the person's body temperature will actually increase.

But in Rome, tourists might have it a little better — there they have gelato.

Highs of up to 40 degrees Celsius are forecasted for the north and center of Italy, including Rome.

And people are advised to drink lots. These tourists in Rome heeded that advice.

People are being warned against drinking alcohol during the heat wave though, because it is dehydrating.

However, in Rome people can only partially refresh themselves in fountains.

If any tourists actually try to swim in the fountains they'll be fined, after a ban was enacted in in 2017.

So be careful not to fall in.

And, like this boy, make sure to wear a hat.

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