French Riviera Flooding: At Least 19 People Found Dead
According to new reports, at least 19 people have been found dead following flash floods on the French Riviera.
The death toll rose after two bodies were discovered on October 5. One person remains missing but another was found alive, according to reports.
Violent storms and heavy rain on Saturday evening sent torrents of water and mud through several towns.
A Briton, an Italian woman and a Portuguese man were also among those killed, AFP said.
French President Francois Hollande has announced a state of “natural disaster” in the affected region.
Forecasters have faced criticism over the effectiveness of weather alerts.
The area is estimated to have received more than 10% of its average yearly rainfall in two days alone. Rivers burst their banks, sending water coursing into nearby towns and cities.
Divers found one body in the worst-hit town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule on October 5.
Eight are now confirmed killed there after being trapped in garages when they tried to remove their cars, officials say.
Three elderly people drowned when their retirement home in Biot, near the city of Antibes, was flooded.
Visiting the home on October 4, President Francois Hollande offered his condolences and urged residents to remain cautious, saying: “It’s not over.”
Hundreds of volunteers have been helping clear debris and clean homes affected.
Thousands of homes remained without electricity on October 5 following the floods.
Meanwhile Bernard Giampaolo, director of the Marineland amusement park in Antibes, said three loggerhead turtles were still missing after the enclosures were hit.
He told Nice Matin newspaper that polar bears, orcas and dolphins had survived, although the park was still without power.
Chickens, goats and sheep had been washed away, the newspaper reported.