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WEATHER

Pensioner dies in Nice after storm Amélie triggers landslides

A 71-year-old woman was found dead on Monday after being engulfed by a landslide in the French city of Nice, as the south of the country counted the cost from a brutal storm.

Pensioner dies in Nice after storm Amélie triggers landslides
Southern France has been battered by Storm Amélie. Photo: AFP

Storm Amélie brought freak winds, downpours and monster waves to southern France over the weekend. The woman, 71, who died in her own back yard, was the only reported fatality.

The storm dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and ripped loose live electrical wires, leaving tens of thousands of people without power for hours on end, authorities said.

READ ALSO Train passengers stranded for up to 15 hours as storms close line between Paris and south west France


Power cables came down and trees blocked roads and rail lines. Photo: AFP

About 60 rescuers worked through the night in search of the woman, who was reported missing after a landslide buried her back garden as she was sweeping during a brief respite of heavy rains over Nice, said emergency services spokesman Eric Brocardi.

They moved more than 80 square metres of soil mixed with concrete blocks from a collapsed retaining wall before finding her body.

Sixteen residents of the same neighbourhood, where other landslides have since occurred, have been evacuated as a precaution.

Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h were recorded in the southwest coastal departments of Gironde and Landes on Sunday, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Six people sustained minor injuries as Amelie pummelled the Atlantic coast.

Several trains were cancelled and several delayed for hours after about 50 trees came down on the lines, said rail operator SNCF.

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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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