Extreme Weather in France and Switzerland Kills 3

Created: 2013-06-22 09:43 EST

Category: World > Europe

Hailstorms and floods hit separately in Switzerland and southern France on Thursday, killing three people and causing huge economic losses.

Flooding has swollen the Po River in Pau, capital of France's Pyrenees-Atlantiques department, bringing damage to the city, despite widespread anti-flooding measures.

Local media reported that days of rainfall and thawing snow water from the neighboring Pyrenees Mountains have caused floodwater to spill into the city.

The local meteorological department reported that Thursday's flooding is the biggest since 1937, and at least three people were killed in the flooding.

French president Francois Hollande visited the affected areas to urge local governments to carry out effective measures to reduce losses and resume traffic as soon as possible.

A rare hailstorm in June has struck Switzerland's second most populous city of Geneva Thursday afternoon, causing severe losses to local vineyards and disruption to traffic.

Though it only lasted for five minutes, the hailstorm left a mess of smashed branches.

Local media reported that the hailstorm seriously disrupted the rail traffic between Geneva and Lausanne, canceling many commuter trains.

The hailstorm has brought painful economic losses to the local viticulture businesses, as it is very near time to harvest the fruit.