| ||On December 26 1999, 348 of the 515 towns in the Vosges department woke up to no electricity, 10% of the Vosges' forests were on the ground, trains could not run normally and 60 000 phone lines had been cut. The next day, a second depression near the Loire, also at average speeds of 100 km/h moved through France in 12 hours. The violent winds flattened over 300 million trees in France. The disaster had serious consequences: 88 dead, 3.5 million homes with no electricity and between 9 and 15 billion Euros worth of damage. The French forest, systematically exploited since Colbert (in the XVIIth century) had never been so damaged. The National Forests Office that undertook the reforestation now wants to favour forests that are naturally more resistant without compromising the market economy by favouring biological diversity and avoiding the systematic alignment of plantations. From this point of view, the disaster had some positive consequences. Many people say that natural dis-asters (cyclones, flooding, drought…) linked to global warming are more frequent; however, it is difficult to make out any trends. Even if it is true that the number of disastrous events has remained stable until now, the number of people affected and the cost of damages have definitely increased.
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