….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson

All records broken by heatwave

A ‘heat dome’ is raging between the Maghreb and the Mediterranean, causing an exceptional heatwave in Greece, Italy, Spain and, of course, here in the South of France.  Although it has been exceptionally hot this week, over the border in Spain nearly 44 degrees was recorded in Lleida and near Madrid the ground temperature was recorded at 60 degrees!  (Apparently to measure the temperature on the ground you have to add about 10 degrees, meaning the 40 degree mark could be reached near Perpignan). Despite a brief break over the weekend this mass of burning air will return very soon bringing another heatwave.  Meanwhile other areas of France are suffering from severe rain-storms.

Three dead and five injured in 24 hours on the roads


A tragic start to the first weekend of the summer season in the department after a series of road accidents.  On Sunday afternoon a violent collision occurred between a car and a motorbike on the D900 near Le Boulou. The motorcyclist and his wife, both police officers in their fifties stationed in Perpignan, were killed.  The car ended up on its roof but the driver was not seriously injured.  Then in the early hours of Monday morning another violent accident occurred on the D83 at Claira when two cars collided.  One of the occupants, a 17 year old boy, did not survive, and four others were slightly injured.  Police are currently investigating both accidents and are calling for witnesses.

More fires in the region

Firemen in France

A fire broke out on Saturday afternoon near the Buffalo Grill in Perpignan.  A total of 7 hectares of scrubland was destroyed before the fire was finally brought under control by around 100 firefighters and three water bomber helicopters.  Just the day before, 87 firefighters and one water bomber helicopter had been called to treat a fire in vegetation very close to the ‘Argelès Vacances’ campsite at Argeles-sur-Mer.  Only one hectare was destroyed but due to the proximity to the campsite the holiday-makers were ordered to prepare for a possible evacuation and gathered in the reception area while three 50-seater buses were pre-positioned in the town ready to move if necessary.

Les Déferlantes to stay in Barcarès?


The organisers of the Déferlantes music festival which ended last weekend have announced their wish that this annual festival will continue to be held in Le Barcarès.  For many many years it was held at Chateau Valmy, last year it made a disastrous move to Chateau Aubiry near Céret, but this year it was said to be a resounding success.  120,000 spectators were welcomed this year, including 37,000 on Sunday evening alone.  The festival is held at the foot of the Lydia boat, on the site which already successfully runs the annual Electrobeach Music Festival.

Two victims of drowning in one weekend


On Saturday July 8th an 80 year old man from Alsace became unwell while swimming at Barcarès beach.  According to rescue services he was extremely short of breath when they pulled him from the water, but were unable to resuscitate him.  Later in the day, at Canet, a 17 year old from Paris was seen entering the sea but did not return – his body was discovered later in the afternoon.  Firefighters remind holidaymakers to be extremely vigilant as the currents and waves can be deadly.

40 people involved in pile-up on the A9


A car driving in the wrong direction on the motorway caused chaos on the A9 at Salses-le-Chateau.  At around 12.30am on Wednesday morning the car crashed head-on into two other cars, many other vehicles were caught up in the accident, including a bus carrying around 30 people.  Firefighters say the fact that nobody was seriously injured was ‘quite miraculous’ and the only person slightly injured was one of the drivers of the cars (not the one who caused the accident).  The motorway was closed in the south-north direction for nearly two hours, causing a two kilometre traffic jam.

And finally…

A man has appeared in court in Perpignan because he tried to arrange the funeral of his ex mother-in-law.  Not usually a criminal offence, apart from the fact that the woman was still very much alive.  He and his partner were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce when he went on the internet site of a funeral parlour, pretended to be his ex-wife, and filled in a form to make funeral arrangements for her mother.  When the funeral home contacted her to pay for the deposit, she did not see the funny side, and made a formal complaint to the police.  The man was punished by a fine contributing to an aid fund for victims of violence.


Caroline Manson is an independent Property Consultant – for advice on buying, selling, renting or renovating, don’t hesitate to contact her at

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