At least four people have been killed and many more are reported missing after flash floods struck south-eastern France and north-western Italy. Dozens of houses were destroyed and entire roads were washed away in a mountainous border region near Nice.
Coastal areas on the French Riviera were devastated, with long stretches of beaches littered with storm debris. Meanwhile, rescue workers stepped up their search efforts amid fears that up to 20 people were missing.
Eight were formally reported as missing and another 12 were thought to be missing, officials said. Nice and its surrounding area saw almost a year’s rainfall in less than 12 hours over the weekend.
Storm Alex, which brought fierce winds and torrential rain, then moved into northern Italy where record rainfall has also been seen. What’s the latest?
In France, around 1,000 firefighters were deployed along with helicopters and soldiers to the south-eastern Alpes-Maritimes region.
A search is under way for eight people who were seen being dragged away by the flood waters. These included two firefighters whose vehicle was washed away when a road collapsed near the village of Saint-Martin-Vesubie, which was completely cut off by the storm.
In a number of French villages along the border, landslides covered roads and buildings in mud and cars were left buried in the slurry. ‘My three-storey house, it’s in the river,’ Sandra Dzidt, 62, told AFP news agency. ‘All I have left is a tiny piece of wall and a door.’—Agencies