Hurricane-force winds lash Spain and France killing fifteen .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} Hurricane-force winds lashed Spain and France Saturday, killing at least 15 people including four children when part of a sports hall collapsed, while over a million were left without power, AFP reported.

High winds, gusting up to 150 kilometers an hour (95 miles per hour) in northern Spain, brought down part of a sports hall in Sant Boi de Llobregat, near Barcelona, a regional government spokeswoman said, killing the four children and injuring nine.

Spanish media reported the children had been playing baseball outside but took shelter in the building.

"It seems that the roof shifted and brought down part of the wall," the spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile French forecasters warned record-breaking winds, reaching 184 kilometers an hour at Perpignan, and sounded a red alert across nine departments for the first time, though they were all lifted by the end of the day.

The winds caused widespread disruption in both countries, with some 1.3 million homes experiencing power cuts in France, according to electricity grid operator ERDF, and tens of thousands in Spain also without power as high voltage lines were brought down.

The weather also wreaked havoc on the roads, with fallen trees hampering engineers struggling to restore power. French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said 715 additional staff had been sent to the region to assist.

"It’s the apocalypse," said Peio Poueyts, in the tourism office in the French city of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast, where 135 kilometer-per-hour winds were reported, as train, bus and rail transportation were cancelled and stores were shuttered up.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced he would visit the region on Sunday.

In Spain, a 52-year-old woman also died in Barcelona late on Friday night when she was crushed by a collapsed wall. Another woman died Saturday in the northern Castilla-Leone region when a door, lifted by the winds, crashed into her.

While a civil guard sergeant in northwestern Galicia, was killed by a falling tree as he was directing traffic.

A 51-year-old man in Spain’s southeastern Alicante province was also killed by a collapsing wall, while one of six seamen rescued from their Portuguese cargo ship by helicopter off Galicia died, media reported.

The death toll also included a municipal employee near Barcelona and a 60-year-old man in Spain’s Catalonia province.

Four people died in southwestern France, including two drivers who were killed by falling trees in the Landes department. A 78-year-old also died when he was hit by flying debris outside his home, local authorities said.

Meanwhile, a 73-year-old woman died in the southwestern Gironde department when the storm cut electricity powering her breathing machine.

In Spain’s northern Basque country, waves as high as 21.5 meters (70 feet) were recorded off Cape Matxitxako, according to a spokesman for the regional interior ministry. Dozens of people had to be evacuated from the area after wind blew the roofs from their homes.

The strong winds were also felt across the Mediterranean, with two people killed in the eastern town of Setif when the wall of a house collapsed, civil protection forces said.

Separately, avalanches in Scotland and France killed five people with three other lives seriously endangered in the French Alps.