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Large swathe of France on high alert for storms on Monday

Météo France has issued the second-most severe weather warning to 28 departments

People in the affected departments are advised to take care as strong winds and heavy rainfall move in Pic: Ralf Maassen (DTEurope) / Shutterstock

French weather forecaster Météo France has issued an orange warning (be very vigilant) -- the second-most severe -- for storms across the country for Monday afternoon (March 13) and into the evening. 

The alert is in place across a sash-like swathe of the Hexagon covering 28 departments, from the northeast (including Bas-Rhin and Moselle) to the southwest (including Haute-Garonne and Ariège).

Much of the rest of mainland France is on a yellow alert -- the third most severe -- for high winds.

Some forecasts have predicted wind gusts of up to 100km/h

Amid the wind, Météo France is warning people to be on alert for flying debris. 

It also recommends people:

  • Stay away from trees and waterways
  • Shelter inside a strong building
  • Avoid needless journeys and remain informed
  • Protect anything that could be blown away or flooded
  • Avoid using mobile phones or electrical items outside

The only departments to have escaped any weather warning today are Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud. 

Storm Larisa brings 150km/h wind

It comes after Storm Larisa swept the country on Friday (March 10) with winds of up to 150km/h, causing injuries to people and damage to buildings. The situation was particularly bad on France’s western coast.

Winds of 125km/h were recorded in Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine), while similar gusts were felt in Alsace. 

In Dury (Somme), the strong wind caused a shop wall to collapse, burying two people. They were taken to hospital in a serious state. An inquiry has been opened to establish how the incident happened.

Winds of 150km/h were recorded in Bastia, Corsica, and many flights were delayed or cancelled. The peak of the storm hit Corsica overnight from Friday, March 10 to Saturday, March 11.

The port of Bastia was closed, while 4,000 homes were without power on Saturday. Many trees collapsed around the island.

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