yourne first victim of bad weather. On Saturday, June 4, the Rouen city council announced the death of a woman, trapped under her car. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin earlier announced that a woman was missing in Rouen (Seine-Maritime), while two-thirds of the country is on orange alert for thunderstorms. In addition, the Parisian festival “We Love Green” was canceled this Saturday, for the second day of the event.
Earlier, a hailstorm that passed through the Landes and the Gers on Friday seriously affected part of the Armagnac vineyard, where the vine was “chopped” and “plundered” by hailstones of several centimeters and by the wind, indicated on Saturday 4 June to the Agency France Wine growers press and local authorities. These two departments are part of the 65 placed from 4:00 p.m. on Saturday until early Sunday on orange watch for storms, with a new risk of hail.
“This corridor of hail followed the entire Lando-Gers border and it is estimated that between 4 and 5,000 hectares of vines were affected, and several tens of thousands of hectares of crops were affected in the Gers”, said the president of the Departmental Chamber. of Agriculture Bernard Malabirade. According to him, hailstones of three centimeters caused significant damage in the west of this department.
“In Montreal-du Gers, we had hail bigger than a golf ball! “Said the director of the Armagnac interprofessional, Olivier Goujon, citing affected wine estates in Betbézer-d’Armagnac (Landes), Castelnau-d’Auzan-Labarrère and Fourcès (Gers). “There was indeed a disaster, but it’s too early to make a general assessment,” he said.
Is the 2023 harvest already threatened?
In Frêche (Landes), 25 km from Mont-de-Marsan, the viticulturist Nelly Lacave has found her 8.5 hectares of “chopped” vines. “It’s an apocalyptic scene,” she told a correspondent.AFP. “In the vineyards there is nothing left, the roof of our farm building is a giant Swiss cheese and the windows in the house have been broken. My father, who is almost 70 years old, has never seen that.” “With the frost (early spring), we already had a 50% loss. After the hail, we have 100%”, added Nelly Lacave, who also noticed significant damage to her dozens of hectares of sunflowers and corn. According to her, even her 2023 harvest is in danger: “A wounded vineyard as it is today, it will be very difficult to prune it this winter and have a decent harvest next year.”
A speech also supported by the president of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Landes, Marie-Hélène Cazaubon, according to which this damage, in “still tender vegetation”, “may affect the vineyard for one or two years” and will require “an great job”. of cleaning and pruning, to save what can still be saved”.
In Labastide-d’Armagnac (Landes), the mayor of the municipality, Alain Gaube, believes he has “lost between 70 and 90% of the vines.” “On the ground there is a large part of leaves and grapes. The grapes that are left (on the vine) are already brown, they are dead,” he noted. According to an AFP correspondent, the roads in the area are strewn with leaves and branches and some broken trees. The Landes firefighters carried out 78 interventions in 28 municipalities in relation to the weather episode and up to 4,500 homes were deprived of electricity, according to the prefecture. No injuries reported.
Canceled concerts in Paris
In the Paris region, the “We Love Green” festival had to cancel all the concerts scheduled for this Saturday. “Due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, we have to cancel the festival tonight. Go calmly to the exit, ”reads a tweet from the organization. “We will meet tomorrow (note, Sunday)”, add the organizers. Some 40,000 people have been asked to leave, according to information from the Parisian.
“The conditions are not pleasant for the public or for the artists,” a speaker on stage announced earlier, according to an AFP journalist on the spot. The environmentally conscious festival reopened its doors on Thursday in the Bois de Vincennes, after two editions canceled due to the health crisis (2020 and 2021). Thursday’s opening night was marked by a concert by Gorillaz, one of the British bands Damon Albarn.
Phoenix’s Versailles and rapper SCH were scheduled for Saturday. The other headliners of the event are Angèle, PNL, Juliette Armanet, who is expected on Sunday. We Love Green had welcomed 80,000 people in total in 2019 during its last edition.
30,000 explorers hosted
France’s 30,000 scouting units gathered in the Chambord National Estate (Loir-et-Cher) for the Pentecost weekend, taking shelter from the violent storms, including a third inside the castle itself, organizers said. The Loir-et-Cher department is one of 65 departments placed on orange “storm” watch by Meteorology France from Saturday June 4 at 4:00 p.m., until Sunday morning.
“The storm passed around 4:30 p.m. It lasted a few minutes, but it was relatively strong and a gust of wind knocked down the Cubs’ tents, which we are in the process of reassembling,” Damien Tardy told Agence France Presse. in charge of relations with the press in the movement. . “Ten thousand young people, ages 8 to 12, were housed in the castle in cooperation with the prefecture,” he added. “The older ones, who are up to 25 years old, have taken shelter in the forest, on a sloping plain. They are in tents under ponchos, and they sang when I went to see them, as the scouts do even in the event of difficulties, “said Damien Tardy, who added that it was a “difficult moment” but “pretty well managed”.
Questioned by AFP, the director of the National Domain of Chambord, Jean d’Haussonville, specified that the shelter “passed calmly and in a good mood thanks to the emergency plan provided by the prefecture.” The castle was closed to the public from 3:30. pm in anticipation of the storm. The idea was to give priority to the smallest in the castle, that is, about 10,000 people. The older ones stayed on the buses sheltered from lightning and hail. We are expecting a second storm around 7:30 p.m.,” he explained, adding that there was damage, such as “broken shops, fallen trees, and water infiltration into the castle.”