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50,000 hit by power cuts

Violent winds bring down electricity lines in Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine and people warned to stay at home

MORE than 800 linesmen have been working flat out through the night to restore to power to 50,000 households in Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine after winds of up to 115kph blew down power lines.

A storm warning put out by Météo-France yesterday has been extended to Saturday morning with people in Haute-Garonne and Tarn especially, but also Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Aveyron, Lot and Gers, told violent winds meant they should avoid going outside if possible - and to beware falling trees and flying branches.

Electricity grid company ERDF said that power lines had been knocked down by flying branches in the gusts and this was also affecting telephone communications, especially mobiles.

It has called in extra linesmen from neighbouring departments to help the affected areas.

In Toulouse, all parks and gardens have been closed to avoid injury - although no serious injuries have been reported so far - and Météo-France warned that gusts could reach 125kph on higher ground.

In Paris, nearly 90,000 households were without power for around 30 minutes last night in the 13th and 14th arrondissements after a problem at an electricity sub-station.
Screengrab: France TVinfo

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