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Macron to visit storm-battered northern France

The Local France
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Macron to visit storm-battered northern France
France's President Emmanuel Macron will visit storm-damaged Brittany on Friday. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

French president Emmanuel Macron will visit areas affected by Storm Ciaran on Friday as initial estimates put the storm damage at €400 million.

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The 'exceptional' storm, which brought 200km/h winds and left two people dead, has now moved on to Italy but in France the clean-up continues with rail services still facing major disruption on Friday. 

The Elysée announced that Macron will visit Brittany on Friday, the area that suffered the most storm damage with winds of 200km/h and waves 20 metres high recorded along the coast. 

Almost 80 percent of the region's weather stations recorded winds of 150km/h or above and 1.3 million people were without electricity on Thursday due to storm damage - on Friday morning 523,000 homes were still without power.

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Rail operator SNCF says that local TER services in northern and central France will remain disrupted on Friday, while TGV services will mostly run as normal with the exception of Brittany routes. 

The group Weather Risk Tech, which combines meteorologists and insurance industry representatives, has put the initial estimates of storm damage at between €370 million and €480 million, with thousands of insurance claims already filed and doubtless more to come.

CEO Gilles André told Le Parisien: "We have regional claims models - because 120km/h winds in Normandy do not cause the same damage as in the Landes - and we feed them with weather forecasts ahead of the storm or with observation data from Météo France after it has passed."

Two people died in the storm in France - a lorry driver in Aisne was killed when a tree fell on his cab and a man in his 70s fell from his balcony in Le Havre while trying to shut his shutters - and in total 10 people have died around Europe.

The storm has caused severe damage and at least three deaths in northern Italy, where a hospital has also been flooded. 

Although Storm Ciaran has passed, the weather will remain very unsettled in France with another storm due to hit the south of the country over the weekend. 

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