Tornado rips through 2 towns in French Pyrenees (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Inhabitants of the picturesque commune of Maureillas-las-Illas in the Pyrenees-Orientales woke up to the sounds of destruction Sunday morning after a tornado fell on the town shortly before 9 o'clock. The strong winds caused massive damage, destroying the roofs of about fifty houses. Several trees were knocked to the ground and power has been affected. The local nursery school was also hit and will remain closed Monday.
Images exceptionnelles : la #tornade qui s'est développé sous l'#orage qui a frappé le #Vallespir a été filmée de très près dans les #PyrénéesOrientales sur la commune de #Maureillas. Nombreux dégâts liés aux #VentsViolents et à la #grêle. @radiometeopic.twitter.com/4feJ7fIA5j— Agate Météo (@AgateMeteo) January 7, 2018
Eighty firefighters and nineteen firetrucks were sent to the village. Agents of the local ENEDIS energy provider were also deployed to restore the power supply after 300 households lost electricity in Maureillas. The supply was restored by late Sunday evening.
The tornado then moved a little further north to the town of Fourques. There, the twister struck some 24 dwellings. A man was slightly injured but was immediately treated by the rescue team. Electricity to some 50 homes was restored by the evening.
The prefect of the Pyrenees-Orientales has activated the departmental operational center to coordinate relief efforts. The department has been placed on high alert after an orange-level rain-floods warning was issued for the region by Meteo France.