Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Russia targets McDonald's over tensions with West

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Liberian authorities admit 17 patients are missing

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing Foley execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

Europe

Millions without power after storms lash France and Spain

Latest update : 2009-01-24

French and Spanish authorities are on high alert as a powerful storm system lashed south-western France and northern Spain, killing a Spanish official and leaving a million homes without power.

AFP - High winds lashed Spain and France on Saturday, killing a Spanish official and leaving a million homes without power in southwest France as well as disrupting air and rail traffic.
   
In northern Spain, authorities said a civil guard had been killed by a falling tree as he was directing traffic, the second person to die in the winter storms raging in from the Atlantic.
   
In France the regional electricity grid operator ERDF said most of the households without electricity were in the Gironde, Landes and Pyrenees-Atlantiques regions.
   
The storm also caused havoc on the roads, with fallen trees complicating access to sites for technicians to try to restore power.
   
With wind gusting up to 147 kilometres (91 miles) per hour, authorities said Bordeaux airport had been closed and travel across the Aquitaine bridge halted.
   
Flights were also suspended at Toulouse airport mid-morning.
   
Air France cancelled domestic flights passing through the affected zone.
   
Ski stations were closed in the Midi-Pyrenees region and rail services out of Toulouse and Bordeaux were disrupted by fallen trees on the tracks.
   
A regional spokesman for French state railways SNCF said no trains were running south of Bordeaux on Saturday morning and train services to the region from Paris were being cancelled to prevent a buildup of passengers in Bordeaux station.
   
He said six trains were blocked in different stations across the region. Coaches could not be sent for the stranded passengers while the poor weather conditions prevailed.
   
He said no improvement was expected before midday.
   
High wind warnings have been posted for nine southwestern French departments. France's national weather service said the severe winter storms were expected to last at least until Monday.
   
In northern Spain, which has been buffeted by storms off the Atlantic since Friday, a woman was killed on Friday by a collapsing wall.
   
On Saturday winds were gusting up to 150 kilometres an hour in the north, and up to 100 kilometres an hour in the rest of the country.
   
Weathermen expected the situation to improve by the evening.
   
Many roads were impassable because of fallen trees, rock slides and rivers breaking their banks.
   
Spain's interior ministry advised people not to make any non-urgent journeys by road and to avoid beaches because of the risk of sudden surges in the sea level.

Date created : 2009-01-24

COMMENT(S)