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High winds: Five French departments on alert as Storm Diego takes hold

Coastal areas in Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Charente-Maritime, Puy-de-Dôme and Haute-Loire are set to experience winds of up to 110km/h inland and 120km/h

Five departments are on an orange alert for strong winds today (April 8) Pic: Météo France / bdavid32 / Shutterstock

Five French departments have been placed on an orange weather alert for violent winds as Storm Diego moves eastwards across the country from the Atlantic coast today (April 8).

The departments are: Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Charente-Maritime, Puy-de-Dôme and Haute-Loire.

In these areas, wind speeds are expected to reach 90-110km/h inland and 120km/h along the coast.

Precipitation could also fall as snow between Normandy and the German border. It is already snowing in the northern Alps above 1,800m.

National weather service Météo France has described this phenomenon as “quite rare” for the month of April, adding that the weather will be “very unsettled” in France today. 

The orange alert will begin at noon and come to an end at midnight tonight, when conditions are expected to calm.

There are also 79 departments on a yellow warning for strong winds, covering all but the most northerly and southerly areas of France.

Savoie, on the other hand, has been placed on an orange alert for avalanches, which will last all day and into tomorrow. 

Departments prepare for the storm 

As Storm Diego moves in from the Atlantic coast, affected departments have been taking measures to limit the impact of the high winds. 

In La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime), a pontoon designed to quell choppy waves has been put in place to reduce the effect of the storm on the boats moored there.

Do I need to do anything? 

The stormy weather could disrupt telephone lines and electricity supply, and people should also be aware of an increased risk from falling objects such as roof tiles and branches. 

Météo France advises that people in orange alert areas stay at home if possible and secure any possessions which could be carried away by the wind. 

You can find out more about the alerts through the Météo France website. 

Related articles 

Heavy rain, snow, 100km/h winds: Storm Diego hits France

Record cold spell: France fears crop damage, but spring to return

Water restrictions on way for south-east France in early drought alert

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