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WEATHER

Snow strands thousands, kills skier in French Alps

Heavy snow stranded 4,000 travellers heading for resorts in the French Alps and killed one skier in an avalanche, authorities said on Sunday.

Snow strands thousands, kills skier in French Alps
File photo of heavy snow between Lyon and Chambery. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP

The Savoie department prefecture said 3,500 motorists spent the night in emergency shelters after the snow made the roads impassable.

A further 500 holiday-makers who landed at the airport in the city of Chambery also had to sleep in shelters.

The avalanche alert level in Savoie was at four on a scale of five, the national weather service said.

The mountain rescue service said a 22-year-old man died when an avalanche swept him away as he skied off-piste on Saturday in Val d'Isere, a resort popular with foreign visitors.

WEATHER

South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday. 

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