The Daily Telegraph
20 still missing in French floods as bodies found on Italian beach
SEVEN people have been confirmed dead and up to 20 missing after floods hit southern France over the weekend, according to local authorities, as neighbouring Italy says it has found six bodies on its shores.
France confirmed three more deaths yesterday, bringing the death toll to four in France and three in Italy. Emergency services say another eight people swept away by floods are “missing” and a further 13 “presumed missing”.
“I fear that the death toll will, unfortunately, climb as we investigate on the ground,” warned Charles-ange Ginésy, head of the Alpes-maritimes departmental council.
In Italy, it was first thought that six bodies found on beaches – five men and a woman – had died during the storms, their bodies then washed out to sea and carried to the Italian Riviera.
But Bernard Gonzalez, the prefect of the Alpes-maritimes region, said they were “very probably” already dead and in coffins that had been washed away from cemeteries in France.
Storm Alex brought flash floods and torrential rain to parts of France and Italy. Up to 20in of rain fell in less than 10 hours, a volume not seen since records began, according to Jean Castex, the French prime minister.
Almost 1,000 firemen were drafted into the region to search for the missing and re-establish communications.
Eric Ciotti, head of the ProvenceAlpes-côte d’azur region, said the damage would cost an estimated billion euros to repair.
Ten trucks of food aid are being dispatched to the area from Nice and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, is due to visit later this week.