Sudden snowstorm leaves one dead, many without electricity in southeast France


A man died due to unexpectedly heavy snowfall in the Rhône-Alpes region in France. Rail traffic was also disrupted and 300,000 homes were left without electricity due to the weather, France 24 reports

The préfecture said a 63-year-old motorist died on Thursday evening in the town of Roche, in northern Isère, after a tree fell.

The man was trying to move a tree that had fallen under the weight of snow around 7pm, with the help of other people, when a second tree fell on them. A 27-year-old man was also injured and hospitalised in Bourgoin-Jallieu.

Snowfall has caused power cuts, depriving some 300,000 households of electricity in four departments - Ardèche, Rhône, Isère and Drôme - according to energy provider Enedis.

“Our teams are being deployed but the situation is still evolving,” said Enedis.

In Isère, SNCF announced that train traffic was interrupted on three lines from Grenoble “at least until midday on Friday” due to trees falling on the tracks or threatening to do so.

The routes concerned are Grenoble-Lyon, Grenoble-Valence and Grenoble-Veynes.

Around 6pm on Thursday evening, passengers were evacuated from the Grenoble-Lyon train at Bourgoin-Jallieu, reported an SNCF Rhône-Alpes spokeswoman. (France 24)