The clean-up operation after Europe’s worse storms in a decade has begun.
Authorities in France and Spain are picking up the pieces after the hurricane force winds destroyed infrastructure and left 15 people dead. Almost a million homes in southwest France are still without electricity. The power cuts have caused chaos to France’s rail network. Many level crossings are out of action and fallen trees are blocking tracks. Officials say it will take around five days to resume normal service. With water supplies also affected, some supermarkets have started rationing what they sell to shoppers. In Spain, officials say forest fires caused by fallen electricity pylons are now under control. But, tens of thousands of people in the Galicia and Catalonia regions still remain without power. “We are trying to open the freezers as little as possible, and we are using candles and gas powered cooking,’‘ said this man. The powerful winds claimed 11 Spanish lives , including four children, who were killed when a sports centre they were in collapsed. Meanwhile, in a separate storm in Portugal, extreme weather conditions resulted in 600 people having to be rescued by emergency services.