Wednesday 17 January 2018

New rain fears as flood deaths rise to 25

THE death toll from flash floods in the hills above the French Riviera rose to 25 yesterday as new thunderstorms threatened the picturesque region and cleanup efforts, officials said.

The rescue operations are finished and attention was turning to clean-up, the administration for the Var region said in a statement.

The flooding that began on Tuesday swept away trees and parts of houses in the hills behind the Riviera, and left cars stacked on top of each other in mud-clogged streets.

About a dozen people who had been reported missing on Wednesday were accounted for yesterday, the administration said.

But the weather forecasting service Meteo France warned of thunderstorms that could bring new heavy rainfall or hail.

Efforts to restore electricity to the region failed, and more than 94,000 homes were still without power. Telephones and water service also were out in the town of Draguignan, the hardest-hit, as well as in neighbouring towns. The defence ministry was helping to bring drinking water to the region.

More than 1,400 people were evacuated by helicopter after the initial rains, including some people taken out of a flooded nursing home

Draguignan penitentiary officials said 455 prisoners have been transferred to other jails, after waters rose to three metres inside the facility.

The national weather service said about 40cm of rain had fallen in the hardest-hit area in June, an amount that normally falls over a six-month period.

Irish Independent

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