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France

Gales, waves, flooding head for western French coast

Storm Dirk hits Brittany in December
Storm Dirk hits Brittany in December Reuters/Mal Langsdon

Yet more stormy weather was set to hit west France on Friday, forecasters warned. Giant waves and winds of 110-130 kilometres per hour could seriously damage a coastline already weakened by nearly three months of rain and wind.

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Three departments in Brittany - Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes d'Armor and Finistère - and four in the south-west - Charente-Maritime, Gironde, les Landes and Pyrénées-Atlantiques - were placed on orange alert for gales and flooding from waves until dans Saturday.

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Brittany and the south-west have suffered gales, breakers and floods since December, causing damage to property and loss of human and avian life.

"In the context of high tides and a weakened coastline, very strong winds along with very highwaves make particularly special attention necessary," national weather service Météo France said.

A depression, known as "Andrea", was off Ireland and heading for Cotentin on the Channel coast on Friday morning.

Winds were expected to be as high 110-130 kilometres per hour when they hit the coast and 90-100 kilometres per hour inland.

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