France: Storms leave one dead and 15 injured

France: Storms leave one dead and 15 injured
Thunderstorm. Credit: Belga

Intense storms in France on Saturday temporarily deprived 15,000 people of electricity on Sunday. One person died and 15 people were injured, "two of them seriously," said France's Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin at a press briefing.

The deceased was a woman "swept away by a mudslide" in Rouen, a city in the northwest of France, who drowned after being trapped under a car. Among the seriously injured is a 13-year-old girl in "critical condition".

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2,400 firefighters were deployed to carry out 3,500 interventions, while 50,000 lightning strikes were recorded. Darmanin stressed that it was "the first time in 20 years" that such a large part of the country's was exposed to so many thunderstorms.

'A state of natural disaster'

The storms not only caused a loss of life, but also of "works of art", including bridges that were "swept away" in Mayenne as well as damages done to wine regions Landes and Gers, according to Darmanin.

Further to this, the minister announced that he would suggest that Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne declare the damages a "state of natural disaster" to let people "trigger their insurance."

The storms, which swept across France, have also impacted Belgium. The Belgian Royal Meteorological Institute has issued a code yellow weather alert across Belgium to remind people to stay vigilant due to the risk of disruptions.

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