VIDEOS: Rain, hail and even a tornado batter France, storm alerts raised

Farmhouse collapses in north, streets flooded in Bordeaux and vineyards damaged in Charente-Maritime. Heightened alerts are now in place across central France

France was battered by multiple storms over the last few days. Photos for illustrative purposes only
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Storms hit both the north and south-west of France hard yesterday (June 18), leaving a trail of damage in their wake in several departments. 

Dramatic images were captured throughout the day of hail - some of which was 6cm in diameter, heavy rainfall, and even a small tornado, which destroyed a farmhouse as it swept through it, in the Oise department, in the Hauts-de-France region.

Cold winds from the British Isles and strong gales from the Atlantic contributed to two different storm patterns.

Storms are set to continue today, particularly in the centre and central-eastern parts of France. 

There are tier-three orange warnings for storms in 12 departments: 

Creuse, Corrèze, Haute-Vienne, Indre, Cher, Puy-de-Dôme, Allier, Loire, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Yonne.

Read more: Weather in France June 17 - June 21: Forecast by area this week

In the north, a small tornado formed near the village of Carlepont (Oise) around 17:30, sweeping through the village and causing severe damage. 

Firefighters – 40 of whom were present to clear the damage left in the tornado’s wake – later announced that 34 homes had been impacted.

These include a metal cabanon (shed) which was blown away entirely, and a disused 300m² farmhouse which collapsed as the tornado passed directly through it. 

Fortunately, no serious injuries have been reported.

You can see a video of the tornado, taken from a distance by a resident, below.

A second, longer video can be found below. 

Alongside damage to buildings, cars were also overturned, and tiles blew of the roofs of a number of homes. 

"Everything happened so fast, in less than a minute the tornado [formed and]was able to move cars," said one eyewitness.

Tornadoes are rare in France but a few do form per year – below are some recent examples.

Read more: VIDEO: Tornado in northern France and ‘red sprites’ above Nice

Read more: Mini tornado lifts up car and flips it over in south-west France

Heavy rain and hail pepper south-west

Despite not facing any tornadoes, the south-west was battered by hailstones and heavy rain. 

Several streets in Bordeaux were flooded, as intense rainfall hit the city centre and surrounding communes.

In the Dordogne, storms were severe and hail fell late into the evening.

Hailstones of up to 6cm in diameter fell in the Charente-Maritime department, in the commune of Cressé. In particular, they hit vineyards in the area, destroying some of the crop.

Further south, near Auch (Gers), hail also fell, with this video showing the intensity of the storm as it passed by through in the afternoon.

Météo France warned tier-three orange storm alerts may be put in place in more central departments later today if conditions worsen. 

You can keep up with official weather warnings on the Météo France website