No let up in cold snap

Three more people have died in cold-related incidents and heavy snow is expected today in the south of France

10 February 2012

THE cold snap continues, with snow expected in the south of France today.

An orange alert for extreme cold is in place in 52 departments, with a snow alert in the Bouches-du-Rhône and Var until midnight on Saturday and until 6.00 on Sunday in Haute-Corse.

Heavy snow is expected in coastal areas, especially in the east of the Bouches-du-Rhône and the west of the Var.

Temperatures will drop as low as -8 to -12 in most regions.

The cold temperatures have caused another death: an 83-year-old man who was trying to walk home, having abandoned his car, in the Ile-et-Vilaine.

Another two deaths are being treated as linked to the cold: an 81-year-old man died in a house fire in the Yonne caused by his oil-fired heating, and in the Loire a 51-year-old man died after falling off his roof while trying to clear snow off solar panels.

This brings the total of deaths linked to the cold to at least eight over a week.

Electricity consumption continues to soar due to exceptional heating use. Residents in Brittany, which produces only 8% of the electricity it consumes, are being warned to moderate their use, especially between 18.00 to 20.00.

The cold weather has been disrupting sporting fixtures, most recently with a Ligue 1 football match between Evian and Marseille put off yesterday, and two Top 14 rugby matches also being shelved.

An ice-breaker has been deployed on Paris canals this week.

Photo: © Franck Lachaud - Fotolia.com

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