Night time curfews have gone into effect in more than 30 French cities and towns, and the country's worst unrest in decades is showing signs of abating.

Police say 482 vehicles were burned across the country overnight, and 203 people were arrested. But there were no reports of injuries, and police say the number of violent incidents has dropped since the curfews took effect.

Police say a school in the eastern town of Belfort was destroyed overnight and vandalism at an electricity station caused a power blackout in Lyon. The area around Paris was reported quiet, despite the absence of curfews there.

Muslim youths of North African descent have mainly been responsible for the two weeks of riots. The government has promised to address what many French say are the causes of the violence - unemployment, poor schools and housing, and racism.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.