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Storms cause chaos in France and Spain

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Storms cause chaos in France and Spain

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Heavy rain and strong winds have caused chaos across a swathe of central France and Northern Spain.

Five French regions have been placed on red alert after flooding led to hundreds of people being evacuated from their homes.

Firefighters answered 400 emergency calls in the Loire department alone, where major road and rail routes were affected, power supplies were cut off and a footbridge was swept away by the torrent.

Dozens of people were given temporary shelter after floods in several towns to the west of the city of Lyon left their homes underwater.

In Spain, most of the damage was caused by gusts of wind measuring up to 160 kilometres an hour.

A campsite in Salou was flooded and a woman injured, while the rail link between Barcelona and Valencia was suspended for several hours.

The region of Tarragona south of Barcelona was worst-hit, with firefighters dealing with more than 500 call-outs.

The bad weather has also been blamed for a gas blast in the town of Almoster, in which two people were injured.