The "Moscow-Paris" is approaching. Up to -10 ° C, felt – 18 ° C: a cold from Siberia will win the country Sunday afternoon, with temperatures far from winter records, but endangering the most vulnerable, such as homeless . "When you're out all day, the hardest thing is the cold … but we do not have a choice, so we're gritting our teeth," said Saadi Billel, an asylum seeker with a reserved seat. for the night from Saturday to Sunday in a gymnasium in Strasbourg requisitioned by the prefecture. Covers, food, hot drinks … "They gave us everything we needed here to keep the next days," he continues. "I am happy and comforted to be able to enjoy a warm bed […] otherwise we would be dying of cold outside," says Nasser, a 48-year-old Afghan man, housed in one of the open sheds in Calais, where many migrants wait in hopes of moving to England.
Phenomenon known as "Moscow-Paris", intense cold air masses from Siberia will arrive on the East Sunday afternoon, before to spread to the rest of the country, which should live between Monday and Wednesday the coldest days of this winter. From Monday to Wednesday, Météo-France forecasts a minimum of -6 ° C to -10 ° C over a large eastern half (outside the Mediterranean, between 0 ° C and -4 ° C) and from -2 ° C to -6 ° C. ° C on the west, unusual temperatures as late in the season.
"We can not leave people on the streets"
Due to a sustained wind, with gusts between 40 and 60 km / h, the temperatures felt will go down much lower: between – 12 ° C and – 18 ° C, or – 25 ° C in the mountains. The temperature felt, or "wind chill index", depends on the speed of the wind, which constantly sweeps the insulating layer of hot air that the body makes on the surface of the skin. This episode of cold pushed the authorities to trigger in 37 departments the plan "cold weather", with more than 3 100 temporary places of additional accommodation for the homeless, including some 1250 in Paris.
The winter has been particularly difficult for the homeless in the capital with the flood of the Seine, the snow and finally this cold, notes Florence Pouyol, general director of the center of social action of the City of Paris. "But we do not give up […]we can not leave people on the street," she adds. A 62-year-old man who lived in a hut in the woods in the Yvelines was found dead on Friday, a death partly due to the cold, according to the gendarmerie. But homeless people are not the only population at risk. The health authorities advise to keep infants and old people inside.
What precautions to take?
For others, it is better to limit the physical efforts and cover well to avoid frostbite, hypothermia, and aggravation of possible cardiovascular risks. And "contrary to popular belief, the consumption of alcohol does not heat up," insists the Directorate General of Health, which also warns against poisoning carbon monoxide. As for the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), it is calling on everyone to limit their electricity consumption, especially between 6 pm and 8 pm, underlining on Twitter that electricity production during peaks of cold is "the most carbonaceous", with the means of production "the most polluting and the most expensive."
EDF however indicated to have "no particular alert on the network", unlike the last year. After a month of historically mild January, and a snowy beginning of February, this episode of cold, which would be common in the heart of winter, is notable because of its date. France has not experienced such a late cold since late February-early March 2005. On the northern half, the "cold wave" could last until the end of the week, but the South should live a simple "Cold snap", intense but shorter, with a warm spell expected Wednesday, accompanied by snowfall that could go north Thursday.