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19 departments on alert for storms

Météo France warns storms sweeping north from Spain across Massif Central could cause "significant damage"

RESIDENTS across 19 departments in the south of France are warned to brace themselves for more stormy weather later today.

National forecaster Météo France has placed the departments of Ain, Ardeche, Aude, Aveyron, Bouches-du-Rhône, Cantal, Drome, Gard, Hérault, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Lozere, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhone, Savoie, Haute-Savoie and the Vaucluse on orange alert for rain and floods.

A spokesperson for the forecaster said the departments will experience a "stormy situation” and urged people to take special care, adding that there is “a high risk of severe weather."

The stormy low-pressure system currently over Spain has brought storms to the Gulf of Lion this morning, and will move north to the Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes before heading to Burgundy and Franche-Comté through the afternoon.

Meteo France said: “The storms are accompanied by violent winds, strong electrical activity, high-intensity rainfall and hail.

Up to 55mm of rain has fallen on the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region since Thursday, and with more wet weather to come over the weekend, forecasters predict another 50 to 70mm of rainfall.

Gusts of up to 100kph have already been recorded at Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard, with the experts warning that the storms may cause “significant damage”.

Photo: Thomas Bresson

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