Paris, Oct 5: At least 17 people died in flooding triggered by a powerful storm in France’s Cote d’Azur, where the deluge has affected a dozen cities and caused extensive damage, officials said. The toll could rise because four people are listed as missing, officials said on Sunday.
This is the deadliest storm to hit France since 1990 and President François Hollande visited the disaster area on Sunday. Meteorologists issued a warning, but no one expected that the storm would dump nearly 200 litres of rain per square meter in less than three hours on an area between Nice and Cannes.
The rainfall total was the equivalent of two months of downpours in the area. The flooded streets stranded scores of vehicles and downed numerous trees. The majority of the people who were killed in the storm were swept away by floodwaters.
The victims died when they entered underground parking garages to retrieve their vehicles and drowned in the rapidly rising waters. The worst-hit area is city of Mandelieu-La Napoule, where the toll stood at seven. Three members of the same family died in the city of Vallauris when they drove into a tunnel and drowned as floodwaters rose.