Montpellier melts under a 45C high as Europe hit by record heatwave

The south of France is like August in Death Valley, officials say, but lessons have been learnt from the deadly summer of 2003 Where shall we put it? asked Luc Gomel, the director of Montpellier zoo. Right on the front gate, to make sure the joggers see it, came the reply from the reception desk. They always complain if bits of the park are shut. Gomel, sweat patches already blotting his armpits in the early morning heat, pinned the red notice to the gatepost. It warned that, because Montpellier was both on red alert for a heatwave and rated as a severe wildfire risk, special measures had been put in place at the zoo. The city, in the Hrault region …

Fukushima disaster: first residents return to town next to nuclear plant

Parts of Okuma are open for business once again, but only a few hundred former residents have moved home A town next to the wrecked deadly earthquake and tsunami triggered a triple meltdown at the nuclear plant in March 2011. Most of Okuma, however, remains off-limits due to high radiation levels. Residents have been permitted to make toxic soil gathered during an unprecedented decontamination drive to reduce radiation to levels that would enable tens of thousands of evacuees to return home. The government has vowed to move the soil out of Fukushima prefecture by 2045, but has yet to find a permanent storage site. Central Okuma in April this year. Parts of the town are open for residents to return. …