Heavy Floods On The Côte d’Azur: Two Missing And At Least Two Injured, Lifting The Red Alert

The Rivière du Loup is out of bed during bad weather in the Alpes-Maritimes department, at Pont du Loup on 23 November 2019

Two missing, at least two wounded and hundreds of homes flooded: a Mediterranean episode caused very large floods in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var, demoted to orange vigil Sunday morning by Météo-France.

Saturday evening, the results of this day Dantesque reported two missing in the Var: a 77-year-old man searched all day near the watercourse in Saint-Antonin-du-Var, and a person fell into the water to the Muy.

The latter was in a lifeboat that capsized Saturday night. The three firefighters on board and the three civilians they were carrying all fell into the water, and one of the civilians was not found.

In Cagnes-sur-mer (Alpes-Maritimes), nearly thirty firefighters came to the aid of a 78-year-old man who had suffered a landslide. A mudslide led to the fall of trees that stuck the septuagenarian, hospitalized in a state of hypothermia but without serious injuries.

AFP / Pascal GUYOT

A flooded road in Palavas-les-Flots, November 23, 2019

Sunday morning, Météo-France has downgraded in its bulletin of 06H00 the two departments of the South-East vigilance orange rain-flood and raised also the vigilance orange waves-submersion.

“The rains persist but are less intense,” says the weather monitoring agency, which recorded accumulations up to 340 mm in the Tanneron.

In the space of three hours, it also rained “10 to 15 mm accumulations on the Alpes-Maritimes, up to 20 mm on the Cheiron and Roya”.

The department of Puy-de-Dôme has been placed in orange vigilance for floods, joining the Gard and Bouches-du-Rhone, still details Meteo France which maintains its alert until at least 16:00 Sunday.

In the Alpes-Maritimes, where major floods affected several rivers, the prefect activated the Orsec (Organization of the Civil Security Response) device on Saturday, asking people “to stay at home, from do not take their vehicle except in cases of force majeure “. Same instruction in the neighboring department of the Var, where the prefect called for “extreme caution near watercourses”.

Firefighters, more than 1,600 mobilized in both departments, have received thousands of calls and made hundreds of interventions since Friday.

Many roads are cut, including the A8 between Fréjus and Antibes in the direction of France / Italy. Rail traffic has also been interrupted on the Côte d’Azur to the Italian border and should resume only Sunday, according to the SNCF.

At 8:00 pm, 4,000 households were without electricity in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var, according to Enedis.

– Historical flood of the Argens –

AFP / Pascal GUYOT

Two men travel by kayak on a flooded road in Palavas-les-Flots 23 November 2019

The watercourse most affected by the heavy rains on Saturday evening is the Argens, frequently in flood, and the commune of Roquebrune-sur-Argens, near Fréjus, was placed under high vigilance during the night.

“The water has returned inside the restaurant, but we have secured everything to limit the damage and we left in the early afternoon,” said AFP phone Fabienne Grégoriou, owner Restaurant du Lac, near the Argens, Roquebrune. The overflow of the Argens, according to Vigimétéofrance, exceeds the historical flood of 2011.

In several cities, such as Hyères and Fréjus, hundreds of people have been evacuated, often as a preventive measure, and some have taken refuge in municipal buildings made available where they will spend the night.

The risk of “wave-submersion” also threatens the coastline, due to a rise in sea level. A 39-year-old woman was seriously injured and hospitalized in Nice in a serious condition after being swept away by a wave, said the firefighters of Monaco.

In Nice, the sirens linked to the warning system sounded in the city to encourage the population to remain strictly confined to the shelter and to leave only in case of force majeure, reported an AFP journalist. Most residents took note of the instructions and very few passersby were on the streets in the late afternoon.



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