Weekend weather alert in the east

An orange weather alert is in place across 19 departments due to snow and ice

FERRY services between Calais and Dover were suspended on Saturday because of strong winds - while a weather warning has been issued for 19 departments in the east of France because of snow.

Winds gusting up to 160kph have forced Calais port to close from 8.00 French time on Saturday until mid-afternoon.

Meanwhile Météo France has placed the eastern side of France - from the Nord department down to the Isère - on an orange alert because of snow.

The alert is in place until at least 21.00 on Sunday. Up to 30cm has fallen in the Vosges and the Jura, and 5-10cm on low land.

The departments covered by the alert are: Ain, Aisne, Ardennes, Côte-d'Or, Doubs, Isère, Jura, Haute-Marne, Haute-Saône, Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Nord, Bas-Rhin, Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Territoire de Belfort, Vosges.

Another 73 departments in France are on the next level down - a yellow alert - because of the risk of snow and ice, making driving conditions hazardous.

Aéroports de Paris has brought in extra reinforcements to de-ice its runways at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.

Meanwhile, migrants in Calais have been given temporary shelter overnight because of the cold temperatures.