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Woman in coma as storm blows over billboard in Paris

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Two people were left injured after this sign blew over in Paris. Photo: Photo Brigade des sapeurs pompiers de Paris
14:51 CET+01:00
High winds buffeted north and western France on Monday, leaving one woman in a coma after she was hit by an advertising hoarding in Paris.

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.

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