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Woman killed by freak mudslide in northern France

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Woman killed by freak mudslide in northern France
A thunderbolt lights up the sky during a storm in France (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

A freak overnight mudslide in northern France killed a 57-year-old woman, local authorities said on Thursday.

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"An intense and highly localised precipitation event triggered... a mudslide in the village of Courmelles" around 90 kilometres northeast of Paris, the local prefecture said in a statement.

The mud "plunged into an area with around 10 homes and built up especially in one house," Courmelles mayor Arnaud Svrcek told AFP.

With around 1.5 metres of water in the house, "the husband was able to escape with bruises to the head, but the lady was swept away," he added.

The Aisne department where Courmelles sits was under an orange storm warning on Wednesday, the second-highest alert level issued by weather authority Meteo France.

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Svrcek had activated the area's safety plan, offering a centre for people affected to take refuge, the prefecture said.

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