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Fierce storms leave western France on alert

Ben McPartland · 6 Feb 2014, 11:38

Published: 06 Feb 2014 11:38 GMT+01:00

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In all 29 departments in western and central France were placed on Orange alert on Thursday morning as storm Qumaira, which has travelled north from Portugal wreaks yet more havoc.

Finistère in western Brittany was once more under the cosh with authorities placing it on red alert - the highest warning level - due to the threat of flooding.

The river Laita and the river Morlaix are of particular concern to authorities with both expected to burst their banks later in the day. The government body Vigicrues, which monitors river levels, says it is expecting significant flooding in Finistère on Thursday.

The country’s meteorological service Météo France is warning of winds up to 120 km/h in certain regions in the west which have the potential to bring down trees and power lines and make driving extremely dangerous.

The Atlantic coast which are also under threat of coastal flooding by tidal waves of up to 12m high.

The map below shows the affected areas of the country.

Recent days have seen huge waves, gale-force winds and torrential rains combine to batter sea defences from the Basque country on France's border with Spain up to Devon and Cornwall in the southwest of England.

The storms sent a Spanish cargo ship crashing into a sea wall at the French port of Bayonne on Wednesday, splitting it clean in two.

Story continues below…

There has been similar chaos in Britain with the coastal railway line linking Devon and Cornwall having been cut and the safety of dozens of clifftop homes increasingly threatened by coastal erosion caused by the storms.

Have you been affected by the flooding? Let us know and send in your images to news@thelocal.fr

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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