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Storms update: Alert issued for eastern France

Ben McPartland · 24 Jul 2013, 08:37

Published: 24 Jul 2013 08:37 GMT+02:00

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After the Paris region and northern France it's the turn of the east of the country to prepare for violent storms on Wednesday.

In its morning bulletin on Wednesday, the country's weather service Météo France maintained its Orange alert - the second highest level of warning - for 13 departments in the north east.

Departments in Alsace, Lorraine, Franche-Comté as well as the Côte d'Or, Haute Marne and Saône-et-Loire can all expect to be on the receiving end of thunder and lightning later in the day.

Météo France is warning the storms will localised and violent and are likely to see hail showers and torrential rain. Gusts of wind could reach 100km/h.

After two people died in a matter of days after being struck by lightning earlier this month authorities are warning residents to take precautions.

Avoid standing under trees or going for walks in forests and don't use mobile phones or other electronic equipment outside during a storm, is the advice they are giving.

Two boy scouts were hit by injured during a lightning strike earlier this week and two people at a vineyard in Burgundy were also slightly hurt during a storm that damaged dozens of vines. A man in the east of the country was also injured when a branch fell on his head after he had taken shelter from the storm under a tree.

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Etienne Kapikian, a forecaster at Météo France told Le Parisien that storms are quite common during the month of July, which sees an average of 130,000 lightning strikes each year.

On Tuesday storm warnings had been in place for 36 departments across the north of the country. Firefighters were called out dozens of times across the north as heavy rain lead to flooding, especially in the city of Caen.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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