France says 1,500 died in summer's heat wave

France's health minister says 1,500 people died in this summer's heat wave in France _ but a campaign of public awareness saved many lives

She noted, however, that it represented many fewer deaths than the scorching heat wave in 2003 that claimed 15,000 lives.

She said: "We have succeeded — thanks to prevention, thanks to workable messages the French population heeded — to reduce fatalities by a factor of 10."