Sunday 17 November 2019

Fatal floods strike in France, Spain and Italy

Flooded areas in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. Photo: AFP
Flooded areas in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. Photo: AFP

Dean Grey

Several people have died and others are missing after torrential rain caused flooding across southern Europe.

Three people have died as a result of storms and floods in France this week, while two people were killed by flash floods in Italy on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, police in Spain said they found the body of a man on a beach at Arenys de Mar, hours after he was reported missing from a nearby town.

Firefighters also said they were searching for an elderly woman and her son who were staying in a prefabricated house in Vilaverd, a small town close to Barcelona, when it was washed away after a river burst its banks.

Ten departments in southern France have been placed on orange alert as France's national weather authority said 12cm of rain had fallen in less than three hours in the Bezier area of the Herault department. Rainfall reached 16.5cm in 24 hours in the town of Beziers.

Also in the Barcelona region, a car with two people in it was swept away in and the passengers are missing.

A resident clean her house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean her house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean her house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean his house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean his house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean his house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean his house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
Residents clean the house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
A resident clean his house up the aftermath of powerful storms in Villeneuve-les-Beziers, southern France, on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/Sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows a rescue team flying over flooded areas with a helicopter in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
CORRECTION - This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/Sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows flooded areas in Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows a rescue team flying over flooded areas with a helicopter in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/Sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows French firefighters and rescue teams in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile /sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows flooded houses in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/Sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows flooded areas in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the Securite Civile/sdis34 on October 23, 2019, shows a rescue team flying over flooded areas with a helicopter in Villeneuve-les-Beziers near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by HANDOUT/Securite civile/sdis34/AFP via Getty Images)
A vehicle drives through flood waters past a pannel reading in French "flooded street" following overnight storms in Beziers, southern France, on October 23, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the French Civil Defense Directorate (Direction Generale de la Securite Civile) on October 23, 2019, shows French firefighters and rescue teams near Beziers, Southern France. (Photo by -/Securite Civile/AFP via Getty Images)
This handout picture released by the French Civil Defense Directorate (Direction Generale de la Securite Civile) on October 23, 2019, shows flooded areas in Beziers, Southern France. - After hitting the Lion Gulf, storms are expected in Provence and Corsica in the evening. (Photo by - / Securite Civile / AFP) (Photo by -/Securite Civile/AFP via Getty Images)

In Italy, a taxi driver drowned after his car was swept off a bridge in the Piedmont region. His passenger was reportedly found alive clinging to a tree.

An 81-year-old man also died when floodwater overturned his car.

Spanish authorities said the rainfall caused power cuts affecting 20,000 people, while the police said 40 roads in Catalonia were cut. Several rivers burst their banks and flooded nearby streets.

Irish Independent

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