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Storm Amélie pummels France's Atlantic coast

Storm Amelie in full swing in southwest France
Storm Amelie in full swing in southwest France GAIZKA IROZ / AFP

Storm Amélie blasted the Atlantic coast early Sunday, whipping up giant ocean waves, uprooting trees and leaving some 140,000 people in southwest France without electricity. But no deaths or injuries have been reported.

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Fourteen of metropolitan France's 95 departments were placed on high alert as storm Amelie brought heavy rains to the Atlantic coast. Winds topped 160 kilometres per hour in some places.

Emergency services attended to hundreds of callouts as gusts dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and tore loose live electrical cables.

No deaths or injuries have been reported so far.

Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h were recorded in the coastal departments of Gironde and Landes, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Electricity supplier Enedis said it was working round the clock to restore electricity to some 140,000 customers left without power by the storm.

In the Landes department, 47 people had to be evacuated from a camp site, and a casino roof collapsed.

Several trains in the area were cancelled or delayed, according to the SNCF railway operator.

Stormy weather hit the southeast of France too, with heavy rainfall forcing the evacuation of a Roma camp. More than two dozen motorists had to be rescued as their cars got stuck in the deluge.

Several shops and homes in the southeast had their basements flooded.

(with AFP)

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