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France battens down hatches as high tides, wind lash coast

media Calm before the storm - Cap Ferrat in south-west France on Thursday evening Reuters/Regis Duvignau

High tides, waves and stormy winds hit the French coast on Friday morning and are expected to continue until the end of March. Coastal towns have taken measures to try to avoid the damage suffered during the winter of 2013-2014.

Winds of up to 60km per hour were reported on parts of France’s Atlantic and Channel

Interactive map of France

coasts on Firday morning and tides almost reached their maximum, attracting onlookers fascinated by the breakers crashing onto the shore.

No damage was reported on Friday morning, although roads and bridges were submerged in several places.

Weather forecasters sounded the alert for flooding on the coastline and many towns brought out sandbags, rocks and raised dykes, anxious to avoid the damage they suffered during last year’s stormy winter.

Access to some potentially dangerous sites was restricted in Biarritz, which was badly hit last year, Anglet and Capbreton on the Bay of Biscay.

Tides will remain high until the end of March, forecasters say.

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