Red Cross France Portugal county Cross Serbia Death Continental Waters Red Cross France Portugal county Cross Serbia

Europe's hottest summer roasted 70,000 people to death in horrifying 44C heatwave

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its hottest day on record as the mercury soared to 40C at Heathrow Airport with the nation basking in unprecedented sustained sunshine since.Despite the few days of strict health advice to stay cool indoors during this summer's most scorching days, it barely scratches the surface of the torment suffered by the continent in 2003. READ MORE:Brits think 26 degrees C is 'too hot' for chores like gardening or cookingAcross Europe, a staggering total of 70,000 people died from heat-related illnesses 19 years ago which wreaked havoc from Portugal to Serbia.Jacques Chirac, who was French President at the time, said: "Many fragile people died alone in their homes."The French Red Cross slammed the isolation of vulnerable people who perished from neglect in the cauldron-like crisis in France where heatwaves were a strongly underestimated risk.As a result priests in the north of the country were so overrun from the amount of funeral requests, that they were forced to bury total strangers in the same service.The constant stream of deaths also meant weddings had to be cancelled to free up priest and church time for the back to back burials.World War 2 bombs and tanks stopped people being able to cool off in Serbia's stretch of the River Danube.Water levels dried up so much that the previously submerged weaponry which has been submerged in the river for decades was dramatically revealed.

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