Lightning and hailstorms to lash western France

Heavy rain, gusts of up to 100kph and hail spreading from Aquitaine, through the Massif Central to B

Météo France in warning to avoid travelling on exposed roads

Residents in Deux-Sèvres and Vienne have been warned about violent storms that are striking the western side of France where a total of 11 departments are on orange alert.

The two departments have been added to an earlier list that included Charente, Charente-Maritime, Dordogne, Gers, Gironde, Hautes-Pyrénées, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne and Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Météo France said the storms with intense lightning bursts and lashing hail would arrive from the Atlantic and continue from late afternoon into the evening.

Up to 4cm of rain will fall in some areas within an hour and will be accompanied by very strong wind gusts, reaching up to 120kph and perhaps more, the forecasters warned.

The Aquitaine coast is on high alert, with jetty's closed

People should stay home and make sure shutters and other protection is in place and avoid travelling, especially on exposed country roads.

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