France storm death toll hits 47; overall up to 53

PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister says the death toll from a violent storm that lashed western France with hurricane-force winds has risen to 47. At least six people died in other countries.

Most deaths are concentrated in France's Vendee region on the Atlantic coast.

Minister Brice Hortefeux told France-Info radio on Monday that the number of dead would "doubtless" increase as more than 9,000 rescue workers make house-to-house visits.

The storm, named Xynthia, blew into France early Sunday, flooding ports, destroying homes and leaving some 1 million households without electricity.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting the region Monday.