A powerful storm packing hurricane-force winds lashed northern France today, killing two people and forcing officials to close down the Eiffel Tower and the famed Paris parks.
A Parisian woman died when her car was crushed by a tree and a man was decapitated by flying sheet metal, officials said.
Rescue workers in Paris closed the famed Sainte-Chapelle monument, renowned for its stained glass windows, because a stone angel on its roof risked being toppled by the gusts. Paris City Hall then ordered the Eiffel Tower closed as well as Paris parks and outdoor ice skating rinks.
Three people were reported missing in the Breton port of Brest. Traffic on the TGV fast train between Paris and Lille was interrupted.
Winds clocked at up to 80mph pounded northern France, prompting authorities to raise the nation’s weather alert to orange – one below the highest of the four levels.
The Normandy Bridge, a suspension bridge near the port of Le Havre, was closed.