Days of torrential rain across southern France and the northeast of Spain have led to major flooding, leaving at least 10 people dead.
A rare red alert (“vigilance rouge”) warning was issued by Meteo-France, France’s official weather agency as record breaking rain lashed Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast. The heaviest rain fell Sunday into Monday morning.
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In the space of just three hours, the city was hit with a staggering 252mm of rain. This inevitably caused flash flooding and resulted in the River Lez bursting its banks.
By 0600GMT on Monday, the 24 hour rainfall total had reached 300mm. This amounts to almost half the city’s average annual rainfall total of 629mm.
Meanwhile, the rainfall totals for Spain may not have been as impressive, but they were significant nevertheless. Barcelona racked up 96mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 0600 GMT on Monday. Meanwhile Costa Brava totalled 132mm in the same period.
The deaths all occurred in Spain with five people being killed in the Andalusia region and another five in the neighbouring region of Murcia.
The storms began across the south and east of Spain at the end of last week and gradually moved northwards through the weekend. They caused extensive damage in the process. In Valencia, 35 people were injured when a tornado ripped through a funfair at Gandia.
The storms are now weakening as they slowly drift towards central Europe. Further showers are possible over the next few days but they will become increasingly isolated.