Hot air moving from the Sahara region has caused temperatures to rise.
Paris surpassed its heat record Thursday, with temperatures in the city reaching 42.7 degrees Celsius. Paris’ record had been set in 1947 at 40.4 degrees Celsius.
In June, France experienced its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching 47 degrees Celsius, causing the heat alert system to go to its maximum level of red for the first time.
The Netherlands experienced its hottest day on record Thursday, with temperatures reaching 41.7 degrees Celsius. The previous record was set Wednesday, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius in the Gilze Rijen municipality near the Belgian border.
In Germany, heat records are also being broken, with temperatures reaching 42.6 degrees Celsius. The previous record was set Wednesday, with a high of 40.5 degrees Celsius in Geilenkirchen also near the Belgian border.
Belgium also experienced its hottest day Thursday, with highs reaching 40.7 degrees Celsius, also in the western town of Beitem.
Many public buildings in Europe lack air conditioning. Additionally, only 5% of homes have cooling units, according to reports.
Trains across the continent have stopped, and authorities have advised people to seek cool environments.
In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, some communities painted vital rail tracks white in hopes that the light color would bring down the temperature a few degrees.