Storm alert closes Paris parks and artificial beach

18th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 18 (AFP) - A storm alert warning of extremely strong winds and hail on Wednesday prompted Paris authorities to hurriedly close parks, cemeteries and the popular temporary artificial beach set up along the River Seine.

PARIS, Aug 18 (AFP) - A storm alert warning of extremely strong winds and hail on Wednesday prompted Paris authorities to hurriedly close parks, cemeteries and the popular temporary artificial beach set up along the River Seine.

The state weather forecaster, Meteo-France, issued the warning early in the day, saying storms packing lightning, heavy rain, hail and winds of over 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour were to hit the city in the evening.

Its orange alert - one step short of the maximum red alert on its four-point scale - was scheduled to be in force until midnight (2200 GMT).

The expected tempests followed others on Tuesday in southern France in which at least four swimmers drowned and five others went missing.

In a statement, the Paris Town Hall urged residents to avoid the two woods on the outskirts of the capital, limit driving and remove objects from windows that might be plucked up by the wind.

It closed Paris Plage, a 2.5-kilometre (1.5-mile) stretch of riverfront which has been converted into a leisure area of sand, deckchairs and palm trees for the month of August.

Meteo-France forecaster Jerome Lecou said the front hitting France was a residual disturbance from a cyclone that had started in the Caribbean.

"It's a classic phenomenon - when a cyclone moves too far north, it is swept into the general circulation from the west and arrives on our European shores," he said.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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