Dozens dead in Europe storm

Over a dozen missing and scores injured as fierce rains and winds lash five countries.

    The storm flooded streets and houses
    in western France [Reuters]

    Many drowned in Sunday's disaster, while others were struck by collapsing debris as parts of buildings or trees and branches were ripped off by fierce winds.

    France was the worst hit country, with officials putting the death toll at 45 people.

    Strong gusts and high tides destroyed Atlantic coast sea walls, killing 25 people in the town of l'Aguillon sur Mer alone, city officials told French television.

    France devastated

    The French regions of Vendee and Charente Maritime bore the brunt of the storm and were placed on flood alert along with parts of Brittany.

    Helicopters lifted people to safety throughout the day.

    Xynthia also caused death and damage Spain, Germany, Portugal and Belgium [EPA]

    The government announced an immediate relief fund of 1 million euros ($1.36m) and tax relief for victims.

    France also plans to ask the European Union to release funds from its regional budget to help pay for recovery operations.

    Elsewhere, the storm caused the deaths of three people in Spain, another three in Germany and one each in Portugal and Belgium.

    Nearly 60 others were injured and more than a dozen are missing.

    Although Britain was not hit, London's Thames Barrier, the capital's flood defence, was closed on Sunday morning as a precaution.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.