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STORM

Tornado rips through France and Luxembourg

A huge tornado ripped across southwest Luxembourg on Friday leaving at least seven people injured, authorities said, as images posted on social media showed the powerful twister whipping roofs and other debris into the air.

Tornado rips through France and Luxembourg
Bascharage near the French border after a tornado ripped across the southern part of Luxembourg. Photo: AFP

With winds reaching 128 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour), according to the meteorological office, the tornado smashed through towns near the borders with Belgium and France on Friday evening.

Footage posted on social media showed the swirling winds towering above homes and roads and tearing up roofs and tree branches high into the air.

The Luxembourg government, which released the toll, has set up a crisis unit.

Around 100 homes have been damaged, Pierre Mellina, mayor of the town of Petange, told RTL media.

Other images broadcast showed roads blocked and vehicles damaged.

The local fire service said the electricity had been cut to certain areas “preventatively”.

As the tornado entered France late Friday it damaged homes in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region, but there were no reports of injuries, according to local authorities.

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STORM

Storm Amelie pummels France with gales and torrential downpours

Storm winds blasted southwest France Sunday, whipping up giant ocean waves, uprooting trees and leaving some 140,000 people without electricity, authorities said.

Storm Amelie pummels France with gales and torrential downpours
Photo: DAMIEN MEYER / AFP

Fourteen of the country’s 100-odd departments were placed on high alert as storm Amelie brought heavy rains to the Atlantic coast, with winds exceeding 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour in places.

Emergency services attended to hundreds of callouts as gusts dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and tore loose live electrical cables.

No deaths or injuries have been reported. Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h were recorded in the coastal departments of Gironde and Landes, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Electricity supplier Enedis said it was working round the clock to restore electricity to some 140,000 customers left without power by the storm. In the Landes department, 47 people had to be evacuated from a camp site, and a casino roof collapsed.

Several trains in the area were cancelled or delayed, according to the SNCF railway operator.

The southeast of France was not spared, with heavy rainfall forcing the evacuation of a gypsy camp. More than two dozen motorists had to be rescued as their cars got stuck in the deluge.

Several shops and homes in the southeast had their basements flooded.

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