France hit by storms amid August heatwave
France is expecting storms after the heatwave which has hit the country over the last week. Weather forecaster Météo France warns of the heavy rain, strong winds and even hail, mainly in the east. And lightning has injured seven people the past few days.
On Tuesday night several French regions were hit by sudden storms. Météo France had warned 11 French departments of the risk of thunderstorms. In the east, several cities were hit by hail after a day when temperatures hit 36°C.
The forecaster later scaled down its warning to only two departments.
In Burgundy a man was injured and rushed to hospital after his van was struck by a tree uprooted by the storm.
Five people, inlcuding a four-year-old child, were struck by lightning while taking part in treetop sport in an amusement park in the Pyrenees, in the west of the country, on Monday. The lightning hit an iron cable used for safety and people clinging to it received an electric shock.
A four-year-old child lost consciousness and a female instructor's burnt from her feet to her hips. The five victims were driven to hospital and they are now out of danger.
Lightning also struck two women on a beach in west France on Sunday. They were taken to hospital and was discharged during the night, the other on Monday.
In France, between 100 and 200 people are struck by lightning every year. Ten per cent die and 70 per cent suffer permanent physical aftereffects.
To avoid being struck by lightning experts advise:
The best way to shelter is to stay in a car with the windows closed.