Powerful gale

Winds gusting at up to 140km per hour were recorded on France's Atlantic coast, with forecasters saying they could reach up to 160km per hour.

The storm comes just two weeks after another that left 11 dead in the southwest of the country.

Regional airports in Nantes, Brest and Rennes remained opened, although many flights were cancelled.

The Atlantic coast was expected to be worst hit.

Boat crossings between Brittany and nearby islands were suspended. Three rescue vessels were on standby to assist any ship in difficulty in the mouth of the  Channel and sandbags have been positioned on sea-fronts that are likely to flood.

Emergency services said they received dozens of calls about fallen trees, electricity cuts, and roof damage in coastal areas, but that things were under control.