• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Woman in coma as storm blows over billboard in Paris
Two people were left injured after this sign blew over in Paris. Photo: Photo Brigade des sapeurs pompiers de Paris

Woman in coma as storm blows over billboard in Paris

Ben McPartland · 8 Feb 2016, 17:53

Published: 08 Feb 2016 14:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Feb 2016 17:53 GMT+01:00

As many as 16 départements were placed on Orange alert – the second highest level of warning – due to the fierce winds and high tides, with the public advised to stay away from the shore.

In Finistère, Brittany, the western most département in France, gusts of up to 139km/h were recorded overnight on Sunday .

Winds regularly topped 120km/h as the storm blew through the north and west of the country.

The wind upturned an advertising hoarding in Paris, not far from the Arc de Triomphe, seriously injuring two people (see tweet below).

One of them, a young woman in her early 20s was left fighting for her life and suffering serious head wounds. She was rushed to a hospital in a coma, while the other, a young man, suffered a broken leg, reported Le Parisien newspaper. 

The gusts of wind brought down power cables and thousands were left with out electricity ion Brittany and Normandy: 4,000 in the départment La Manche and another 5,000 across Brittany.

The Pont de Normandie bridge over the Seine had to be closed on Monday morning when a lorry was blown over.

The coastal départements from Finistére up to Pas-de-Calais were all placed on alert for dangerously high waves as the winds combined with a hide tides. 

The Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve called on those who live along the Atlantic and Channel coasts to take the utmost care.

Previous storms that have hit the French coast have ended in tragedy with people having been swept away by the sea after having ventured too close.

(A wave crashes over harbour wall at Auderville, north western France. AFP)

France’s national weather service Météo France warned that that the strong winds would see the waves along the coast increase in size through Monday and it could lead to part of the shoreline being submerged.

The weather system will have passed by late Monday evening.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
14,000 pregnant women in France took 'birth defect drug'
Dépakine has been linked to an increased risk of various congenital defects. File photo: AFP

Health authorities have been criticized for their slow reaction to warnings that Dépakine can be dangerous during pregnancy.

How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Photo: AFP

Almost all of France is on a heatwave alert. Here's how to keep cool.

Heatwave warnings extended yet again as France bakes
Photo: AFP

The national weather agency has issued orange alerts to a further 23 départements.

Paris warned about high level of ozone pollution
Photo: AFP

Free parking on Thursday to fight the high pollution levels.

French Muslim body to talk burqini ban with government
Photo: AFP

The French Council of Muslims has called an urgent meeting with the interior minister citing a "fear of stigmatization of Muslims in France".

Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
Be quick - it's a scorcher of a summer in France this year. Photo: AFP

The tastiest way to get through the heatwave.

French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Photo: AFP

French schools will soon be forced to stage simulated attacks in a bid to prepare children for potential terror attacks, among other measures.

French police 'force woman to remove burqini' on beach
A file photo of a woman in a burqini. Photo: AFP

Pictures have emerged showing armed police officers in southern France apparently forcing a woman to remove her burqini.

Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
President Hollande, who hasn't yet announced if he will run, and Nicolas Sarkozy, who is eyeing up the top job next year. Photo: AFP

France is yearning for political renewal, but looks set to be stuck with familiar faces in the presidential race.

Frenchman 'kills Brit in stabbing rampage' in Australia
Photo: AFP

A Frenchman allegedly killed a British woman and stabbed three others in an Australian backpacker's hostel.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
Society
23 subtle signs you'll never quite master French
2,741
jobs available