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Seven people drown off southern coast of France


09:15, July 29, 2013

PARIS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Seven people drowned on Sunday off the coast of Herault in southern France due to strong winds and heavy swell, media reported.

The southeast winds were as strong as around 130 km per hour, which caused a heavy swell, according to media reports. Swimmers went into the water despite warnings on the beaches.

Citing rescuers, the local broadcaster Europe 1 said four of the victims died on the beaches as resuscitation attempts failed to rescue them, while three others died in the hospital where they had been transported.

According to the report, nine people drowned over the last three days in Herault due to strong wind.

"People are venturing into sea and can not return. We know this type of incident at least once a summer, but the death toll of this weekend is heavy," a rescuer was quoted as saying.

The Interior Ministry called on holidaymakers to be extremely vigilant in the Mediterranean coast, mainly in Herault, recommending them to "strictly respect safety instructions, mainly bathing prohibition."

A fierce summer storm swept France, causing power shortage across the country at the weekend and injuring 30 people in northeastern Haute-Marne region after strong wind caused collapse of a chapel.

Meteo-France, the French weather forecasting agency, said 14 departments in southern France were put under orange on predicted stormy rains and strong winds till Monday afternoon.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Yao Chun)

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