Heat waves that plagued France this summer left some 1,500 people dead, according to the European nation’s health minister.

Agnes Buzyn explained on France Inter radio on Sunday that there had been at about 1,000 more deaths than normal during the summer months, with half of the deceased being 75 or older, the French newspaper Le Monde reported. In total, she said there were 18 exceptionally hot days recorded in France during June and July.

Although the number of deaths was high, Buzyn also pointed out that it was much lower than the 15,000 deaths that occurred during scorching summer heat wave back in 2003. The minister attributed the lower death toll in 2019 to a successful public awareness campaign.

Paris, the French capital, experienced its hottest day ever recorded in July, with the temperature soaring above 108 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record, documented in 1947, was just under 105 degrees.

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