Health minister said half of those who died were aged over 75 but thanks to measures death rate was 10 times lower than 2003 heatwave.
A temperature of 42.6°C was registered in Paris on Thursday, beating a previous record high of 40.4°C in 1947, as most of France bore the brunt of a massive heatwave blanketing western Europe this week and which is due to begin diminishing on Friday.
With temperatures of more than 40°C, the towns of Bordeaux, Rennes and Châteauroux on Wednesday recorded their hottest day since records began, as France swelters under a vast heatwave driven from the south, while the temperature in Paris on Thursday is forecast to beat the capital's 1947 all-time high of 40.4°C.
French met office expects very hot and dry weather next week, with a slight risk of a heatwave in the southeastern part of the country.
Even as air temperatures fall, shortages and excessive temperatures of river water used to cool reactors are worrying nuclear operators EDF.
Dozens of fires have burned about 1,500 acres of land in the Gard département or county in the south - destroying several houses and vehicles.
New record was measured in southern town of Gallargues-le-Montueux - the previous record was 44.1C during deadly 2003 heatwave.
About 50 schools in the Essonne region, just south of Paris, were being shut, as they lack sufficient air conditioning.
Education minister says decision to postpone Le Brevet a week taken to 'guarantee security of the pupils' with temperatures set to reach 40C.
Contingency plans by Paris city hall for a record-breaking June heatwave this week, when temperatures are expected to reach around 40° Celsius, include overnight access to the capital's parks, late-night openings for swimming pools, and cool-off rooms in public buildings.
A heatwave unusually intense for June is due to hit France next week, when temperatures across most of the country are forecast to reach up to 40° Celsius for several days, and when emergency services are to be placed on high alert.
EDF’s nuclear plants along Rhone river use its waters to regulate temperature of their reactors, discharging warm water back into the waterway.
French weather service issues a heatwave alert in 66 counties, warning people to avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day.