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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Hundreds Die in European Heat Wave

Aired August 12, 2003 - 19:15   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Across parts of Europe the misery is in the mercury as unrelenting heat continues to take a devastating toll.
In Stockholm, today's temperatures reached an unusually high 96 degrees Fahrenheit. In Madrid, even hotter, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And in the French capital, gay Paris is gasping. Temperatures hit 103 degrees.

Our Paula Hancock is in the City of Light, where more than 100 deaths are being blamed on the heat.

Paula, any luck staying cool?

PAULA HANCOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I'll tell you what. It's much cooler now, since it's 1 a.m. in the morning. But 1 p.m. this afternoon it was around about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

And to put this in context, what we usually expect in August is about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. We know it's nothing like they're seeing in Baghdad. For northern Europeans they really cannot cope with this heat.

And the infrastructure can't cope either. One doctor was telling us that at least 100 people have died in the city of Paris just over the last week alone.

Now, the hospitals are in a lot of trouble at the moment: 500 extra cases coming in of heat-related illness over the last three days. One hospital I went into has people lying on hospital trolleys in the corridors, et cetera. So they really are struggling to deal with the situation.

And the prime minister of France has said that it is a very serious situation, but it is under control. They do have things in place to try and deal with this heat. And so doctors are telling them to get on with it and deal with the heat.

COOPER: Difficult thing to do. Paula Hancock, thanks very much live from Paris.

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