Some all-time high temperature records had fallen across France. In Bourdeaux, for example, the high reached at least 41 Celsius on Tuesday, breaking the record for that location by nearly a full degree.
World Meteorological Organization has said the heatwaves bore the hallmark of climate change.
A record 80 of France’s administrative regions were put on orange heatwave warnings while the government has imposed restrictions on water use in 73 regions due to a drought.
Much of France has been issued with an orange alert – the second highest level of warning.
The mercury is also expected to climb to 40 Celsius in a string of countries.
In an unprecedented move, Belgium has issued a code red weather warning for the whole country.
Spain also declared a red alert in its Zaragoza region, which was hit by devastating wildfires last month.
In the Netherlands, the government activated its “national heat plan”