Winter storm hits France with strong gusts, heavy rain

Winter storm hits France with strong gusts, heavy rain
# 03 January 2018 17:55 (UTC +04:00)

At least one person is dead and 11 people were wounded Wednesday by a powerful storm buffeting France with violent winds of up to 160 kilometers an hour (99 miles per hour), leaving thousands of households without power and throwing transportation into chaos, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Storm Eleanor’s sole reported casualty to date died due to a tree falling at a resort in the French Alps, according to French broadcaster BFMTV.

According to the Interior Ministry, the seriously injured include a man who fell off his roof, a woman who was hit by a block of cement, and a motorcyclist who crashed into a tree.

The national weather agency has extended its top-level Orange alert for winds of up to 200 km/h (124 mph) and high waves to 51 departments as the storm continues.

The French aviation authority said air traffic has been suspended at Strasbourg and Basel-Mulhouse, both in eastern France, due to fierce winds.

Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport said 60 percent of outbound flights have been delayed.

The Eiffel Tower was also closed on Wednesday morning with gusts reaching 140 km/h (87 mph) at the top of the Iron Lady.

Several ski resorts were closed due to the risks posed by the storms, with warnings of a very high danger of avalanches.

France's national electricity provider EDF said some 200,000 households are without electricity across the country, including 30,000 in the Paris region.

The latest weather warning and strong winds come after winter Storm Carmen battered western France on Jan. 1, with some 40,000 households in the Brittany region temporarily losing power on Monday.