Montpellier melts under a 45C high as Europe hit by record heatwave

The south of France is like August in Death Valley, officials say, but lessons have been learnt from the deadly summer of 2003 Where shall we put it? asked Luc Gomel, the director of Montpellier zoo. Right on the front gate, to make sure the joggers see it, came the reply from the reception desk. They always complain if bits of the park are shut. Gomel, sweat patches already blotting his armpits in the early morning heat, pinned the red notice to the gatepost. It warned that, because Montpellier was both on red alert for a heatwave and rated as a severe wildfire risk, special measures had been put in place at the zoo. The city, in the Hrault region …