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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Extreme Weather-France 15 Drown,80 MPH Winds

VIDEO: Extreme weather wreaks havoc in France
A street light and branches fall on a car in Nice, French Riviera, following 
violent storms overnight in southern France. Valery Hache/AFP

Extreme weather wreaks havoc in France

Seven  people  drown  in  seas  off  France's  Mediterranean  coast  after 80mph  winds  and  unpredictable  currents  cause  treacherous  conditions

  • Another three in 'serious condition' after escaping from the sea

  • Four  victims died on the beaches, while three others died in hospital

Four of the victims died on the beaches, at sea or inland after resuscitation attempts failed, while three others died in hospital. None have yet been named, and no nationalities are yet available.

‘People have been venturing into the sea and never returning,’ said a spokesman for the emergency services in Vendre.

‘We get bad days every summer, but what happened today is absolutely exceptional. It has been a terrible day.’

Here's a round up of the main weather related incidents including the tragic death of seven people in the Mediterranean sea, the emergency evacuation of campers and a mini-tornado in Normandy:
  • On Monday morning three departments remained under orange alert in eastern France for storms: Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Isère. Alerts have now been lifted for the southern departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Drôme and Vaucluse.

  • The south-central department of Ardèche and the Côte d’Azur in the south east experienced heavy rainfall in the early hours of this morning. 

  • A total of 15 people drowned in seas, rivers and lakes across France over the weekend including seven men in the Mediterranean due to dangerous high winds and strong currents. Police said swimmers were routinely ignoring safety warnings.

  • On Sunday TF1 reported that 220,000 homes in the south-western regions of Charente, Charente-Maritime and the northern areas of Normandy and Aveyron and Champagne-Ardenne were without electricity as a result of the storms. Internet and phone connections were also affected, according to the network Orange. By Sunday evening 25,000 homes were still without power. ERDF said it expected the situation to return to normal on Monday morning.

  • In the northern city of Dieppe there were even reports of a “mini-tornado”, that was captured on camera by one witness.
  • 200 campers in three camp sites were evacuated in the south-central department of Ardèche after 70mm of rain fell within the space of one hour.

  • 30 people were injured, six of them seriously when a marquee collapsed in the north-eastern commune of Joinville on Sunday as a result of the storms.

  • Hours earlier, a postman in the western city of Nantes was struck by lightning. He remains in “stable but critical condition”, according to AFP.

  • In the south-western commune of Pauillac a 70-year-old woman was seriously injured on Saturday after a church clock collapsed, crushing her house.

  • Meanwhile in southern France residents experienced a different kind of meteorological nightmare. As temperatures soared to 40°C, Nice Matin reported that residents in a block of flats in the city were sweltering 
  • when they were unable to turn off their central heating. 

  • On Monday morning the Riviera resort of Nice was hit by torrential rain. (See the video below).

A locator map showing where some of the beaches where the deaths occurred are
The spokesman said ‘dozens’ of successful rescues were also carried out following emergency calls. 

The body of 16-year-old Kieran Knight, a British swimmer who disappeared off the southwest coast of France last Wednesday was found on Saturday.

It was found by a fisherman close to Messanges Beach, south of Bordeaux, where Kieran had been swimming with his father. 

The teenager was apparently caught by a strong undercurrent and was unable to get back to shore.
Contributing sources:

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