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Killer tornado leaves two dead

Weekend storms leave tragedy and destruction in their wake - and five departments remain on orange alert

TWO CAMPERS died when a tornado ripped through neighbouring campsites in Ardèche and Gard yesterday, on a weekend that saw much of France battered by storms.

A 50-year-old camper was killed when the tornado touched down at a campsite in Saint-Just d'Ardèche, causing trees to fall on dozens of tents.

And a 46-year-old woman was fatally injured when the same tornado felled a tree at a site in Saint-Paulet-de-Caisson. A total 40 campers were evacuated as the twisted damaged a number of trees.

The twin tragedies in Ardèche and Gard were caused as storms that swept across France passed through Cévennes and Nimes before returning to the Rhône Gard.

Elsewhere, hailstones the size of golf balls left 10 people injured and forced organisers to call a halt to a planned concert by Vanessa Paradis at the Grand Souk festival in Riberac, Dordogne, on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 1,000 jazz fans had to be evacuated from a festival concert in Saint-Emilion. Planned events on Sunday were also cancelled as volunteers cleared up after the storm.

Six scouts from Oise were taken to hospital in Gironde, on Saturday, after suffering lightning burns while on a camping trip in Saint-Simon de Pellouaille.

Across Aquitaine, 8,500 households were left without power as storms swept through the region on Saturday night.

In Châteauroux, Centre, firefighters were called out more than 170 times, mainly to deal with flooding caused by the storms. No injuries were reported.

This morning, five departments - Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vosges, Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle - remain on orange alert for flooding, as the weekend’s bad weather moves away from France.

Image: France 3 screengrab

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