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French government activates crisis task force to deal with worst drought in its history

FRANCE has activated a crisis task force to alleviate the impact of the worst drought in the country’s history, the government announced today.

Water restrictions have been placed in nearly all of France’s 96 mainland departments, with at least 62 on the highest level of alert due to the third extreme heatwave of the summer. 

Meteorology bureau Meteo-France said there was little sign of relief in the coming weeks. 

"This drought is the worst ever recorded in our country... the situation could persist for the next two weeks or become even worse,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said in a statement. 

The dry conditions are a “disaster” for French farmers and “our ecosystems and diversity,” the statement added. 

Extreme temperatures have seen the evaporation of lakes and rivers whose levels have dropped ahead of autumn harvests. 

“Faced with this historic situation, the prime minister has decided to activate an interdepartmental crisis task force and urges everyone to conserve our water resources,” Ms Borne’s office said. 

Some 14,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes last month as wildfires swept south-west France where temperatures reached record levels.

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