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Europe's worst storms for decades kill 15

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Europe's worst storms for decades kill 15


At least 15 people are known to have died as a result of the hurricane-strength winds that have swept through southwestern Europe since Friday.

Among the casualties, four children died when a roof was ripped off a sports centre near Barcelona, causing the wall to collapse. Falling trees and walls account for seven deaths and one elderly French woman died when a power cut shut off her breathing apparatus. The storms reached Corsica and Italy after wreaking havoc on their path east from Galicia through Spain and southern France. Gusts approaching 200 kilometres per hour downed power cables in northern Spain, creating the further threat of wildfires. The storms were stronger than those of 1999, in which at least 88 people died, but this time authorities say they were better prepared. Nonetheless, more than a million French homes are still without electricity. The storms have also caused major disruption to transport networks, with roads blocked and trains and flights cancelled in the affected region.

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