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France Raises Heat Wave Death Toll to 64


French officials say the country's death toll from the stifling heat wave blanketing Europe has risen to 64. Authorities say most of the victims were elderly.

French health officials upped the death count Thursday from 40, and said two-thirds were people 75 years or older. Authorities also cautioned that the French toll could rise, as the delayed impact of the heat is felt by the elderly over the next 48 hours.

Early Thursday, forecasters said they expected thunderstorms over the next few days to bring at least temporary relief to many areas of the broiling continent.

In Poland, newspapers said the average July temperature in Warsaw was the highest since record keeping began more than 200 years ago. Polish firefighters were reported to be battling thousands of wildfires that have broken out in recent days, and public access has been banned to most forests.

In Zurich, Reuters news agency says zookeepers are feeding animals a diet of frozen berries, meat and bones to help them stay cool.

And in Spain, the agency says beachgoers, seeking refuge from the sweltering temperatures, face a plague of jellyfish that is forcing baking vacationers to stay out of the water.

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