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France Battles Fierce Storm


STORY: Fierce winds and strong rains have left at least 50 people dead across France as a brutal winter storm rips across the country.

Most of the victims drowned while others died when hit by parts of buildings or trees tore apart by the vicious winds.

Nearly 900,000 people were without electricity on Saturday. Winds were severe, reaching around 200 kilometers per hour on the summits of the Pyrenees Mountains and about 150 kilometers along the Atlantic Coast. Avalanche warnings were high due to the wet snow and fierce winds. Places like Brittany saw overflowing banks, while high tides pounded Atlantic Ocean communities.

In Paris, winds were so strong they knocked over motorcycles and garbage littered the streets. Flights were delayed and many were cancelled. A number of trains were also delayed because of flooded tracks.

The storm hit the Vendee and Charente-Maritime regions in southwestern France hardest, flooding coastal islands and tossing boats around in ports.

Meanwhile in Spain, hurricane-strength winds and heavy rainfall dominated the country's northern regions over the weekend. Germany and Belgium are now on red alert as the system makes its way through the countries. Flights and trains have already been cancelled in Germany.

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