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WEATHER

Thousands without electricity as Storm Bella hits France

Thousands were left without electricity and planes were delayed or forced to re-route Sunday as storm Bella caused torrential rain and heavy winds in much of northern France.

Thousands without electricity as Storm Bella hits France
Storm Bella hits at Porspoder, western France. Photo: AFP

Some 12,000 households suffered power cuts in Brittany and Normandy in northern France and up to 6,000 around the Calais region.

Over a third of flights from France's main airport of Charles de Gaulle in northern Paris suffered delays of an average of 50 minutes due to the storm, the airport operator said.

Three flights heading to the airport were re-routed to Paris Orly airport in the south of Paris while an Aeroflot flight landed in Amsterdam and a plane heading from Luxemburg turned back.

A top flight rugby clash between Pau and Stade Francais scheduled for the afternoon was delayed by three hours after the storm prevented the Paris-based team from taking off.

In the Paris area, firefighters said they had responded to 170 storm-related calls.

 

The winds and rains generally abated by the late afternoon but heavy show was forecast on higher ground on Monday.

Similar troubles were seen in the south of England where winds reaching 170 kilometres an hour were recorded on the Isle of Wight overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Meanwhile some 20,000 households in Wales had their electricity cut while delays were also seen on railways due to trees falling on the line.

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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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