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Violent thunderstorms crossed France on Saturday, claiming a victim in Rouen. More than 15,000 homes were still without power on Sunday morning. In total, the 2,400 firefighters mobilized carried out 3,500 interventions and 50,000 lightning strikes were cancelled.
The violent storms which crossed France on Saturday June 4 left one dead in Rouen and fifteen injured throughout the country, including two graves. More than 15,000 homes were still without power on Sunday morning.
“There were 15 injured including two seriously and one person died in Rouen”, announced the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, taking stock of this unusual meteorological phenomenon, which caused numerous disruptions in transport and significant agricultural damage.
Streets turned into torrents
The deceased is a woman “swept away by a mudslide” and drowned after being trapped under a car in Rouen, where some streets have turned into torrents.
Among the two seriously injured is a 13-year-old girl who is “in critical condition”, detailed Gérald Darmanin to the press.
In total, the 2,400 firefighters engaged carried out 3,500 interventions and 50,000 lightning strikes were reported, added the minister, assuming that it was “the first time in twenty years” that a such a vast part of the territory was crossed simultaneously by storms, with 65 departments affected.
Météo-France raised the orange “storms” vigilance on Sunday morning for the 25 departments that remained concerned, mainly located in the northeast quarter of France.
Hailstones in Landes and Gers
Among the disadvantages, Gérald Darmanin mentioned “works of art”, in particular bridges “carried away” in Mayenne, and also wine cultures, in particular in the Landes and Gers.
In these two departments, hail of several centimeters fell on part of the Armagnac vineyard, local winegrowers and officials told AFP.
“This hail corridor followed the entire Lando-Gers border and it is estimated that 4 to 5,000 hectares of vines were affected and several tens of thousands of hectares of crops were affected in the Gers”, revealed the president. of the departmental chamber of agriculture, Bernard Malabirade.
“In Montreal-du-Gers, we had hailstones bigger than a golf ball!”, According to the director of the Armagnac interprofessional organization, Olivier Goujon.
In Frêche (Landes), winemaker Nelly Lacave found 8.5 hectares of “chopped” vines. “In the vineyards, there is nothing left, the roof of our agricultural building is a giant Swiss cheese, and in the house, windows have burst. My father, who is almost 70 years old, has never seen that”, on – she named to AFP.
Not far from there, in Labastide-d’Armagnac (Landes), the mayor Alain Gaube thinks he has “lost between 70 and 90% of (s) vines”. “On the ground, there is a large part of the leaves and the grapes. The grapes that remain (on the vine) are already brown, they are dead”, he laments.
A state of natural disaster will be declared
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne promised on Saturday evening that the government would be “there for the affected territories”. Sunday, Gérald Darmanin also announced that he would propose “at the end of the week” to decree “the state of natural disaster” in order to “allow people to justify their insurance”.
In fact, the lightning lit up the sky in Brittany as well as in Centre-Val de Loire, Normandy or Île-de-France. Amateur photographers have posted images of the top of the Eiffel Tower struck by lightning on social media.
In Vincennes, east of Paris, the We Love Green music festival had to be interrupted because “the conditions are not pleasant either for the public or for the artists”, announced on stage a person from the organization, according to an AFP journalist.
At the National Estate of Chambord (Loir-et-Cher), 30,000 unit scouts from France gathered for the Pentecost weekend had to be sheltered, including a third inside the castle. -same.
“The storm passed around 4:30 p.m. It lasted a few minutes but it was relatively strong and a gust of wind knocked down the Cubs’ tents,” Damien Tardy, in charge of press relations at the Cubs, told AFP. movement.
“Ten thousand young people, aged 8 to 12, were sheltered in the castle in cooperation with the prefecture”, the oldest “in a sloping plain”, according to him.
Far from this stormy supercell, Corsica saw the mercury soar: a heat record for the month of June was recorded at Cap Corse, in the north of the island, with 37.4 degrees, according to Météo- France.