Deadly storm hits France

PARIS: A violent late winter storm with fierce rain and hurricane-strength winds has battered France, Spain Portugal and Germany, leaving at least 45 people dead. Many of the 40 victims in France drowned, while others died when hit by parts of buildings or trees and branches that were ripped off by the wind. At least a dozen people were missing on Sunday and 59 others were injured. The storm, named Xynthia, was the worst in France since 1999 when 90 people died.