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After the passage of the storm Alex in Brittany, the bad weather violently hit the south-east of France. The Alpes-Maritimes were on red alert “floods” and “rain-floods” until Saturday morning. Several people are missing, including two firefighters and a gendarme.
The search resumed on Saturday, October 3 in the Alpes-Maritimes, to find nine people officially missing after the severe bad weather on Friday who destroyed houses and isolated some villages. “Currently we are on a balance sheet of nine people proven missing and three supposed missing,” they told AFP firefighters.
In the case of people “supposedly missing”, the authorities have only rather vague reports, unlike other cases where witnesses or firefighters have directly seen the people carried away by the waves. Among the missing are two firefighters and a gendarme.
“One year of rain in 12 hours”
“It rained a year in 12 hours,” said Alix Roumagnac, director of Predict Services, a subsidiary of Meteo France. The Vésubie river recorded a flood of more than seven meters in places, he said on France Info.
According to Jérémy Crunchant, director of civil protection in the Alpes-Maritimes, the rainfall was more abundant than that of October 3, 2015, which had killed 20 people in the Cannes region.
In this house in Roquebilliere, an elderly couple whom we will have seen waving to us until the end, using a small lamp. Shortly after this video their house was taken with them to the raging Vésubia. A disaster # Alex06 pic.twitter.com/e61QC3Sfor
– Grégory Leclerc (@GregLeclerc) October 2, 2020
“Communes cut off from the world”
More than 700 firefighters are mobilized on the ground and nearly 150 reinforcements are on the way. Helicopters must take off on Saturday morning to carry out reconnaissance while the weather is now more favorable, Météo-France having lifted its red vigilance over this department in the South-East of France.
“We have many houses that have been washed away or destroyed, towns like Saint-Martin-Vésubie are cut off from the world,” the firefighters said.
#TempeteAlex // 850 firefighters including 348 as external reinforcements will now be mobilized throughout the department to help the maralpine victims of storm Alex. Our hearts go out to the families of the missing and to two fellow firefighters. pic.twitter.com/usYUTFQIuT
– Firefighters 06 (@ sdis_06) October 3, 2020
“The situation is catastrophic in some municipalities. Saint-Martin-de Vésubie is cut off from the world, there is no longer a network, access roads are cut,” Éric Ciotti, deputy for the Alps, told AFP. -Maritimes by specifying that Prime Minister Jean Castex and Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin are expected in Nice during the day.
The torrential rains and the floods affected in particular three valleys in the Nice hinterland.
With AFP and Reuters