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Storms spread to southwest France

Warnings issued for 19 departments after yesterday’s storms wreaked havoc in Loire-Atlantique, Finistère and Morbihan

SOME in southwest France will have woken up this morning to the sound of thunder, while the clean-up has begun in three departments that were placed on orange alert yesterday.

Météo-France has put 19 departments - Ariege, Aude, Aveyron, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Dordogne, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, Gers, Gironde, Herault, Landes, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pyrénées-Orientales, Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne - on orange alert for storms until 11pm today.

The forecaster said that the storms could be locally heavy, and accompanied by hail and winds of up to 80kph.

Yesterday’s orange alerts for storms in Loire-Atlantique, Finistère and Morbihan
were lifted at 10pm yesterday, but only after the storms left their mark.

A tornado touched down in Angers at about 6.30pm, bringing down trees and cutting off part of a dual carriageway.

Meanwhile, a large section of roof collapsed under the weight of water at a Carrefour supermarket in Faouët - minutes after staff had evacuated customers.

They had been alerted to the danger when water began cascading on to cash registers, Ouest France reports.

And four children were treated at hospital in Nantes for shock after lightning struck a hut at the Château de Noirbreuil, Chéméré.

Firefighters in Ille-et-Vilaine were inundated with calls, particularly from stranded motorists on the road between Rennes and Saint-Malo, as the waters rose up to a metre in some places.

Residents in Ploeren can consider themselves fortunate, as hail the size of golf balls battered the town, but no damage has been reported.

The storms are set to move to the east of France overnight and into Saturday.
Image: Météo-France

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