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Nearly 10,000 French homes without power as rain and wind return

Waves crash over the breakwater of Saint Evette harbour at Esquibien in Brittany
Waves crash over the breakwater of Saint Evette harbour at Esquibien in Brittany Reuters/Mal Langsdon

Over 9,000 French families were still without electricity in Brittany, western France, in the aftermath of this week's gales and flooding. Following more rain on Thursday night , flood warnings were issued for much of Brittany and the north-east of the country.

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An extra 2,000 households suffered power cuts on Friday morning thanks to high winds that hit the region three days after the passage of Storm Dirk, which cut off power to 130,000 homes in all.

Some 7,500 of them had still not had their electricity restored on Friday morning.

Forecasters expected winds of 80 kiliometres per hour on the Channel coast on Friday, although they did not expect them to reach the 140 kph experienced earlier this week.

Flood warnings were issued for six departments in west France - Finistère, Morbihan, Ile-et-Vilaine, Mayenne, Maine-et-Loire and Loire Atlantique - and in the north-west near the Belgian border and heavy rain was expected in the Ardennes.

A warning of floods caused by waves hitting the coast of southern Corsica was lifted, however.

The authorities underestimated the extent of Storm Dirk, Interior Minister Manuel Valls admitted on a visit to storm-hit regions on Friday.

Speaking in the Breton town of Quimperlé, one of three that was hit by serious flooding during the week, he said he would ask regional officials to find out why a sufficiently high level of alert was not announced.

In another of the towns, Morlaix, Valls promised financial aid to shopkeepers whose stock had been ruined by the fllooding.

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