Paris suburban train overturns in landslide

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Flooding has caused widespread damage in France in recent days

A suburban train overturned outside Paris on Tuesday after days of downpours caused an embankment to collapse, slightly injuring seven people including a pregnant woman.

The accident happened just before 5am (0300 GMT) as the RER commuter train was heading for Paris between Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse and Courcelle-sur-Yvette southwest of the French capital.

A spokesman for Paris transport operator RATP said heavy rains caused the collapse of an embankment which led three carriages to derail and tip over. The line has been closed.

"Fortunately, there are only seven slightly injured," Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne told Franceinfo radio.

France has been battered by strong rains and winds for several weeks, with around half of the country under an orange storm warning until at least Wednesday morning.

"Wednesday should mark the end of hostilities to some extent," national forecaster Meteo France joked.

Last week four people were killed in flooding that has caused widespread damage.

Weather monitors counted 180,000 lightning strikes in France last month -- triple the 60,000 average.

The flood warnings mostly affect the northern half of the country, and several major roads in the Paris region were closed due to flooding Tuesday.

The Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes in southwest France has warned it is near the point of flooding due to the swelling of the neighbouring Gave du Pau river.

The site has been forced to shut the pools where pilgrims -- often sick people praying for a cure -- usually bathe.

In the northwest, the city of Nantes is seeing its wettest June on record with 138 millimetres (5.5 inches) of rain so far, according to Meteo France.

The 10th-century abbey at Chancelade in the southern Dordogne region has also been ravaged by flooding.