Paris faces hottest day ever, prompting concerns for Notre Dame Cathedral originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
The temperature rose to a sweltering 107 degrees at the peak of the heat in the afternoon. That means July 25, 2019, will go down in history as the hottest day the French capital ever recorded, smashing the previous record of 104.7 degrees set in 1947, according to Meteo-France, the national meteorological service.
#Canicule De très nombreux records absolus de températures maximales sont battus depuis le début d'après-midi et les températures continuent à monter. Ci-dessous quelques valeurs provisoires mesurées à 15h pic.twitter.com/0rdoRxBBHI— Météo-France (@meteofrance) July 25, 2019
Much of the city center, usually abuzz with tourists, remained empty as temperatures soared around mid-afternoon. Public health authorities have issued several warnings to stay away from the sun during the hottest parts of the day.
However, some Parisians and tourists have been enjoying the day by swimming in the fountains near the Eiffel Tower. The city council opened up town halls and government buildings to be used as air conditioned spaces for people to escape the heat, and a service has been provided to the elderly to drive them to the nearest cool-room at their request, according to local media.
"I am very worried about the heat wave," Philippe Villeneuve, the chief architect for the cathedral's restoration, told Reuters Wednesday. "What I fear is that the joints or the masonry, as they dry, lose their coherence, their cohesion and their structural qualities and that all of sudden, the vault gives way."
Villeneuve warned that the cathedral's vaulted ceiling "could well collapse," although the cathedral seems to have withstood the heat for the time being.