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Woman found dead in landslide after storm batters France

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French firemen search for a 71-year-old woman following a landslide after heavy rains in Nice, southern France, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Yann COATSALIOU / AFP)

A 71-year-old woman was found dead Monday after being engulfed by a landslide in the French city of Nice, as the south of the country counted the cost from a brutal storm.

Storm Amelie brought freak winds, downpours and monster waves to southern France over the weekend. The woman, 71, who died in her own back yard, was the only reported fatality.

The storm dropped trees on roads and railway tracks and ripped loose live electrical wires, leaving tens of thousands of people without power for hours on end, authorities said.

About 60 rescuers worked through the night in search of the woman, who was reported missing after a landslide buried her back garden as she was sweeping during a brief respite of heavy rains over Nice, said emergency services spokesman Eric Brocardi.

They moved more than 80 m3 of soil mixed with concrete blocks from a collapsed retaining wall before finding her body.

Sixteen residents of the same neighbourhood, where other landslides have since occurred, have been evacuated as a precaution.

Weather service Meteo France said winds as strong as 163 km/h (100 mph) were recorded in the southwest coastal departments of Gironde and Landes Sunday, and 121 km/h in Bordeaux.

Six people sustained minor injuries as Amelie pummelled the Atlantic coast.

Several trains were cancelled and several delayed for hours after about 50 trees came down on the lines, said rail operator SNCF.


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