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Destructive storms bring giant hail, tornado and flooding to parts of France

france-giant-hail-tornado-june-2021

Severe storms pummeled parts of France over the weekend into Monday, June 21, 2021, bringing flooding rain, giant hailstones, and a tornado that resulted in damages and one person missing. Around 44 000 lightning strikes were recorded.

In Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, a tornado inflicted damage to a chuch in Indre-et-Loire village. Fallen stoneworks collapsed into cars underneath, smashing windscreens. Trees and vines were also ravaged. No injuries were reported.

In Vercel-Villedieu-le-Camp, hailstones the size of tennis balls wrecked through car windows. Heavy rains triggered flooding while strong winds caused material damage in Essonne in Ile-de-France, and in Reims, Grand Est. 

Widespread flooding submerged roads in the northeastern city of Reims as downpours continued. Power outages also occurred in some areas.

According to Reuters, which dubbed the storm's aftermath as France's "darkest day" — around 44 000 lightning strikes were recorded during the storm's onslaught. 

An 18-year-old man remains missing as of Tuesday morning, June 22, according to local news Courrier Picard. Fire services had to attend to 400 calls for emergency.

More storms are forecast to sweep the country on Tuesday, Meteo France warned.

Featured image credit: Meteo France

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