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Jan 4, 2015

19:51:48 GMT--Snow Storm - Europe - France

EDIS Number: SS-20141228-46466-FRA

Date / time: 28/12/2014 04:41:57 [UTC]

Event: Snow Storm

Area: Europe

Country: France

State/County: Savoie Region

Location: [Regionwide]

Number of Deads: 1 person(s)

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: 15000 person(s)

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: Heavy


Heavy snowfall in the French Alps leaves 15,000 drivers stranded, prompting officials to open emergency shelters and urge travellers to stay home. Heavy snowfall in the French Alps has left around 15,000 drivers stranded, prompting officials to open emergency shelters and urge travellers to stay home. The snow hit as a rush of holidaymakers were heading to and leaving from ski resorts in the Savoie region in south-eastern France, where authorities set up shelters in at least 12 towns. The snow and freezing rain also caused the death of a 27-year-old man, whose car slid into a ravine in the Belledonne mountain range. France's interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve in a statement urged drivers "to exercise the utmost caution" and asked those who could delay their trips to do so. The country declared an orange weather alert - one step under the maximum red alert - in 19 departments. France's meteorological services said they expected more snowfall and "significant re-freezing" Saturday night and warned of slippery roads. Elsewhere in France it was wind and not snow that wrought havoc for holiday travellers. Storms packing gusts of up to 160 kilometres per hour forced the temporary closure of France's port of Calais on the English Channel and the suspension of car ferries to and from Britain. A few kilometres outside the industrial northern city, thousands of illegal migrants living in makeshift camps struggled through a second night of freezing temperatures. "The conditions outside are hellish in the 'jungles'," said David Lacour, director of Solid'R, which is running a care centre to help migrants survive the cold. "The storm blew away a lot of tents - some now have nothing." Up to 2,300 migrants are thought to be in Calais and surrounding areas, where they live in flimsy tents waiting for a change to complete their final journey to Britain. "This is a good shelter here, people help us a lot. It is difficult to survive in the 'jungle'," 23-year-old Eritrean Petrus said. Strong winds also forced the closure of the gardens of the famed Chateau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) near Paris.

Event updates:

Situation Update No. 1 on 2014-12-28 at 19:50:56.

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