Natural disaster status for 78 communes in Var, Loire and Corsica

The declaration means homeowners affected by storms now have 10 days in which to make insurance claims

France was hit by heavy storms in mid-August, leaving many properties damaged
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A state of catastrophe naturelle has been issued to cover nearly 80 French communes, allowing homeowners to make insurance claims for damage caused by recent exceptional storms.

This includes 73 communes in Corsica, which last week was hit by a sudden and violent storm that led to the death of five people.

Read more: Corsica death toll rises to five after shock storms

Read more: Corsica’s fatal storm: Why did alert warnings come so late?

It also applies to two towns in the Var department, Hyères and Pradet, and three places in Loire – Saint-Étienne, La Grand-Croix and Perreux.

France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced the natural disaster status today in a tweet. He only mentioned two places in Loire but The Connexion understands that the status has been granted to three places.

Why has a natural disaster been declared in these communes?

France has a system in which compensation to cover the costs incurred by a natural disaster is paid out of a special fund, paid into by insurance companies and the government.

But in order for your insurance company to compensate you for this type of claim, the government has to officially declare a natural disaster has taken place in the commune where you live.

Once the order has been published in the Journal officiel, affected people have to file a claim with their insurer within 10 days.

You can read more about how to make a claim in our article here: France’s ‘catastrophe naturelle’ insurance system: how to claim

Why were these communes chosen?

France faced a series of heavy storms last week but some areas were more badly affected than others.

Read more: Hail, floods, 224km/h winds: Five die as storms batter France

A deadly storm hit Corsica on the morning of August 18, bringing winds of over 200km/h in places. It surprised meteorologists, who did not expect it to hit so close to the island’s coast. Five people died in total.

An investigation has been launched to look into what went wrong.

Read more: Corsica’s fatal storm: Why did alert warnings come so late?

Among the communes where a natural disaster has been declared is Calvi (Haute-Corse) where several bungalows were destroyed by the storm and a 45-year-old man was killed.

In Var in southern France, a large thunderstorm shook the department overnight between August 16 and 17 and continued on into the day.

Winds of up to 116km/h were recorded and a hailstorm hit the department. Rescue services were called out 39 times in the department during the storms.

Thunderstorms and hailstorms also hit the area around Saint-Étienne (Loire) on August 17. Images on social media showed parts of the city covered in a thick blanket of hail.

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