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Power cuts, injuries: Storm Eunice batters northern France

The storm caused widespread disruptions to transport links, damage to property and electricity cuts. Eight people in the Nord have sustained serious injuries

Storm Eunice hit France's northern coast with strong winds on Friday Pic: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock

Winds of over 160km/h were recorded in parts of northern France yesterday as Storm Eunice battered the coastline.

It caused disruptions to traffic around towns and cities in the north, as well as damage to properties and streets. There are no reports of casualties in France, but nine people around Europe are reported to have died.

In the Nord (Hauts-de-France), eight people sustained serious injuries and 17 people minor injuries, linked to “road accidents, falls or falling materials”, the Nord prefecture reported. 

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said yesterday (February 18) that the event would be classified as a “natural disaster” for insurance purposes. 

Read more: France to declare ‘natural disaster’ for area hit by Storm Eunice

A power cut hit around 160,000 homes in the north of the country yesterday, Franceinfo reported. 

Enedis, the electricity grid management service, reported that it sent 700 technicians to the area to handle the problem and that it had been able to restore power to many.

Around 85,000 homes were still without electricity by 20:00 last night. The Connexion has not been able to establish if there are still homes without power this morning (February 19). 

Waves of over nine metres were observed off the coast of Brittany yesterday, Météo-France stated. 

The five departments that were placed on orange alert for strong winds yesterday - Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Seine-Maritime and Manche - have now been downgraded to yellow, meaning “be attentive”. 

In total, 23 departments in France are on yellow alert today, with all of France’s northern coastline on alert for strong winds. 

23 departments in France are on yellow alert on Saturday (February 19) Pic: Screenshot / Méteo-France

SNCF has announced that "numerous parts of its infrastructure have been damaged" on the TER lines in Hauts-de-France. It said that a return to normal services will be gradual over the course of Saturday. 

However, certain lines have not been affected, including Paris-Amiens, Paris-St Quentin, Paris-Laon, Paris-Beauvais and Creil-Beauvais. 

The city of Lille and the surrounding towns were also badly impacted.

Flights were yesterday suspended from Lille Airport. Anyone flying to or from the airport today should check their flights in advance. 

Similarly, all bus routes in Lille were suspended due to obstacles on the road. 

Saint-André-lez-Lille, a town near to Lille, published a picture on its Twitter of a crane that had overturned due to the winds. 

The storm has now moved further east into Europe, but strong winds are still expected early Saturday morning. 

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Storm Eunice: five French departments on orange alert for high winds

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