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Fire, floods and hail as storms lash southern France

Nearly the whole of southern France is also on alert for storms on Thursday and Friday

Lightning in Haute-Garonne caused a fire Pic: Leopoldd / Shutterstock

The latest bout of bad weather to hit southern France on Wednesday (May 31) saw fire, flooding and hail storms.

Météo France had put the southern half of the country on alert, with the highest level warnings given to Landes, Gers, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées.

There were 8,800 instances of lightning detected across the day, with bolts setting at least two houses on fire, including one in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Hautes-Pyrénées, reported La Dépêche.

A man and a woman, aged 83 and 85, were inside at the time of the strike. Their son rescued them before firefighters arrived. 

Lightning in Haute-Garonne, near the Spanish border, also hit trees. It also caused a fire at a recycling company in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

Numerous thunderbolts also hit the Gard department.

More than 40mm of rain fell in just an hour in Vigan, Gard. Residents also posted footage of significant hail storms.

Meanwhile, houses and businesses in the Tarn department were flooded with the fire and rescue department receiving about 50 calls, according to La Depeche.

The Lot department was also hit by heavy rainfall causing several roads to flood in the Figeac commune.

Storm alerts for Thursday and Friday

While the orange storm alerts have been lifted across southern France, 40 departments, almost the whole of southern France except for Aude, Lot, Tarn and Hérault, are still - at the time of writing - on yellow alert for storms on Thursday (June 1).

This warning means locals should remain vigilant and keep up to date with weather reports.

Vigilance France, whose website can be checked here, has also put the whole of southern France - except the Aude department - on yellow alert for storms for Friday (June 2).

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