Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'60% of British citizens want voting reform'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Swedish FM: ‘Diplomacy today is about courage and patience’

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Women journalists to male politicians: Hands off!

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's billion-euro private beach industry

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Top Burundian judge says he has fled country after government pressure

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

UN denies claims it tried to cover up sex abuse in Central African Republic

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

François of Arabia: Hollande's Budding Friendship with the Gulf (part 1)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'François of Arabia' criticised in French press

Read more

France

Deadly floods sweep through French Riviera

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-20

France’s southeastern Var region, which lies on the Riviera, remained on alert Monday after severe flooding killed at least two people and forced more than 150 others to be airlifted to safety.

A third man has been reported missing after disappearing from his boat while at least 4,000 homes across the region have been left without power.

One of the two confirmed victims was a 73-year-old man who died in his basement, said Laurent Cayrel, a government official for the Var region. The other was killed after being swept away in his car.

Jacques Politi, mayor of Hyères, a picturesque town along the coast, described the situation as "a historic flood".

Despite reports of receding water levels on Monday morning, the country’s main weather service, Météo France, kept the region on alert, warning residents to act with caution.

A total of 155 people were airlifted from the region’s worst-hit areas on Sunday, and efforts to evacuate people from their homes by boat were still underway.

One local woman told of how she watched from her home as a huge wave swept her empty car away before she was evacuated by helicopter with her five-year-old daughter.

"It was really staggering," she said. "We had called the fire brigade who told us to move the furniture upstairs... We had very little time, the house flooded very quickly."

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will travel to the affected area early Monday, his office said.

Late Sunday, authorities issued a separate flood alert for the river Rhone, which runs through southeastern France.

In an interview in a local paper on Monday Ayrault said that a natural catastrophe announcement would soon be issued, a move which would release state funds for flood relief.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-01-20

  • Europe

    Fierce storm batters England, northern France

    Read more

  • FRANCE - WEATHER

    France to get lengthy spell of 'British weather'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)