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Storm disrupting Christmas travel

Update 24/12: Some 21 French departments on alert, with train and plane delays likely as travellers prepare for Christmas break

SOME 21 French departments have been placed on a weather alert by Météo France - and cross-Channel travellers face delays and cancellations to services in the run-up to Christmas.

Winds gusting up to 140kph have caused damage to parts of northern France, from Finistère to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.

The alert also applies to the Rhône Valley and the French Riviera and remains in place until 6.00 on Christmas morning.

The fierce winds will be accompanied in some coastal areas by heavy rain, high seas and a risk of localised flooding.

Air travellers are strongly advised to check with their airline before travelling. Aéroports de Paris says strong winds over the capital mean flights could be disrupted today. A strike on RER B means you should allow extra time to get to the airport.

Easyjet says it hopes to operate all France-UK services normally but delays are likely as some planes are in the wrong place following yesterday's disruption.

There are delays reported on all the major cross-Channel ferry links. Eurotunnel has queues of up to three hours because of the sheer volume of traffic. Eurostar is running a normal service.

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