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Storm Miguel hits France with record-breaking gusts

Orange wind alerts have been issued in 10 departments by forecaster Météo France today (June 7) as Storm Miguel continues to bring record-breaking gusts of up to 120 kph in the west of the country.

Strong winds are affecting Charente-Maritime, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loire-Atlantique, Loir-et-Cher, Maine-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres, Sarthe, Vendée and Vienne.

The storm winds are set to break records for this time of year, as such weather is rare in summer.

Gusts of up to 110-120 kph are expected on the coasts of Charente-Maritime and the Vendée, alongside winds of 100 kph in the Loire-Atlantique, Gironde, and Poitou-Charentes, according to Météo France meteorologist, Etienne Kapikian.

The storm could cause problems elsewhere too, causing “an unstable sky” over Brittany, the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, and even the southern Alps - but it will stop short of Provence and Corsica, Mr Kapikian said.

He added: “With these types of winds, we may fear for material damage, such as large branches falling from trees, or even trees falling. Fragile structures may be damaged. The last time we had winds this strong in June was 32 years ago, in 1987.”

Other previous similar records include July 12, 1961; and June 9, 1954

Residents are warned to keep journeys outside to a minimum, to tidy away any outdoors furniture or objects, to be aware of falling branches and trees, and to avoid any work on any roofs or chimneys.

By the evening tonight, the winds will have blown up to Pas-de-Calais and the English Channel, lowering to about 80 kph. By Sunday, the wind is expected to have dissipated.

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