Massive power outages reported as storm batters France

A storm has battered north-western France, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, disrupting rail traffic and grounding a ship that spilled oil off the coast of Brittany. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or significant damage as storm Joachim moved further inland to Switzerland and Germany. Interior Minister Claude Gueant said France had escaped largely unscathed from the storm. “It seems there have been no victims,” he said, adding that “a certain number” of people living in low-lying areas in Brittany had been evacuated because of the storm. Officials said 400,000 homes had lost electricity, mainly in the west of the country. By mid-day, the number of homes without electricity had fallen to 330,000 as workers scrambled to restore electricity infrastructure.

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