48 French departments placed on orange storm alert

Storms are forecast from this afternoon until the early hours

Météo France has placed 48 departments in the centre and west of the country on “orange alert” for storms, from today afternoon onwards.

“Orange” is the second-most severe alert level.

Storms are expected to hit Nouvelle-Aquitaine first, followed by the Massif Central, passing by Brittany towards the centre an the north of the Rhône-Alpes.

Later, the adverse weather is expected to hit Bourgogne and the Nord-Est, the forecaster said.

Storms are expected to last most of the night until the early hours of Monday June 4.

Residents are warned to be alert to heavy rain, thunder and lightning, and even some potential flooding.

Météo France advised people to take care when travelling and taking part in outdoors “leisure activities”, and warned against using phones or electronic devices outside during the storms, or otherwise doing anything to attract lightning.

Every year in France, 100-200 people are struck by lightning, of which around 20 die from their injuries - and there are several things you can do to avoid to being hit.

Storm alerts (Météo France / screenshot)

The 48 departments - extended today from the 29 originally placed on orange alert earlier - are:

The Ain, Côte-d'Or, Doub, Drôme, Eure-et-Loir, Isère, Jura, the Loire, Loiret, Manche, Nièvre, Orne, Rhône, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Yonne and the Territoire-de-Belfort.

Also affected are Allier, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Cher, Corrèze, Côtes-d'Armor, Creuse, Dordogne, Finistère, Gers, Gironde, Ille-et-Vilaine, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Landes, Loir-et-Cher, Loire-Atlantique, Lot-et-Garonne, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Morbihan, Puy-de-Dôme, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Sarthe, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée, Vienne and Haute-Vienne.

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