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France's Atlantic coast on alert for high winds, huge waves

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Finistère in Brittany, Feb. 2014 Reuters/Mal Langsdon

High winds and huge waves were expected on Monday night on France's Atlantic coast, where 11 areas have been put on alert.


High winds, floods and a rise in sea levels were expected from Brittany to the southwestern Pyrénées-Atlantique region.

Local weather forecasts predict inland gusts of wind up to 120km/h on Monday night in the Finistère area.

On the Atlantic coast, a rise in sea level was predicted, with a tidal coefficient of 114 for Monday.

In the city of Bordeaux, there are fears that that the Gironde river could swell and burst its banks.

Interactive map of France

Last month, central Bordeaux was under water after a bout of such weather.

This year's floods have seriously hit southern and western parts of France, with Météo France, the national meteorological office, reporting the wettest winter in Brittany since 1959.

It is the disruption to wind circulation over the Atlantic that is causing a low-pressure weather system, bringing extensive heavy rainfall, according to experts in the publication, Nature Climate Change. They fear that the cost of floods in Europe may double by 2050 because of climate change.