Winter strikes back in southern France
Heavy snowfall left thousands of homes without electricity and huge waves battered the coastline in southern France as winter made a surprise return on Tuesday.
Trees and branches crashed down from the weight of snow and ruptured electricity cables in the southwest, cutting-off 23,000 homes in "an exceptional situation for the season", electricity company ERDF said.
Snow also caused the airport in Perpignan to close and several flights were cancelled in Montpellier.
Meanwhile on the French Riviera, which is preparing to host the Cannes Film Festival from May 12, six-metre-high waves (19 feet) battered the coastline, left one woman with a fractured leg and caused major material damage.
"There were very big waves this afternoon that caused major material damage to beach constructions, but there were no disappearances," regional authorities told AFP.
© 2010 AFP