Severe floods hit southern France and northern Italy

Heavy downpours cause floods and landslides along the Riviera, leaving two missing and hundreds displaced.

Two people missing, at least two injured and hundreds of homes flooded as torrential downpours hit the Riviera [AFP]
Two people missing, at least two injured and hundreds of homes flooded as torrential downpours hit the Riviera [AFP]

Parts of southeastern France and northwest Italy are on high alert following the issuing of top-level warnings for storms and life-threatening flooding across the region.

Two people have been missing in France since the torrential downpours, while at least two others were injured and hundreds of homes flooded. Some parts of the country received more than 200mm of rain during the weekend.

Several cities in Var, southeast France, had to be evacuated due to the risk of flooding.

Le Luc, which is located in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, recorded 105mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 06:00 GMT on Sunday. That followed 125mm of rain in the previous 24 hours.

Nearby, Nice had 73mm rain on Saturday – the average for the entire month of November is 94mm.

A little further to the southwest, in Biot, local authorities asked the residents to remain indoors.

On Saturday evening, more than 4,000 households were without electricity in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var, according to the French power company Enedis.

Meanwhile, weather monitoring agency Meteo-France has now downgraded the warnings from red to orange. “The rain continues but is less intense,” it said.

The department of Puy-de-Dome has also been put on orange alert for floods, as well as the regions of Gard and Bouches-du-Rhone, according to Meteo France.

Rains affecting Italy

Across the border in Italy, Genoa and the other parts of the Liguria region have also been hit by the heavy rainfall. They are set to remain on red alert throughout Sunday.

Turin had 107mm of rain in 24 hours up to 06:00 GMT on Sunday – the November average is 69mm.

Genoa was worse hit with 117mm rainfall during the same period, well in excess of the entire November norm of 109mm.

In Genoa Cogoleto, about 400 people remain temporarily cut off due to a landslide on the road. The heavy rain caused the Fegino and Ruscarolo rivers to overflow.

Rail transport has been suspended between Alessandria and Savona (Liguria) due to damage caused by the bad weather. Some regional trains have been cancelled and the primary train operator Trenitalia was forced to activate a replacement service.

The rains were slowly easing and were expected to move steadily south and east during the next 24 hours.

The worst of the weather will then clear away through Greece and the southern Balkans, making way for the next spell of wet and windy weather around the middle of the week.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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