Sunday, January 25, 2009

European storm death toll mounts

Hurricane-force winds hitting northern Spain have brought down the roof of a sports hall near Barcelona, killing four children, local officials say.

Eleven people died in other, separate incidents in Spain and south-western France as the fiercest storm in a decade blew in from the Atlantic.

Torrential rains and winds of up to 172km/h (107mph) have been reported.

More than 1.5 million homes in France suffered power cuts while road and rail links were blocked and airports closed.

The impact of the storm has been felt from the Channel Isles to Barcelona, but the strongest winds and heaviest rain were concentrated on the French south-west.

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