Hollande: state of “natural disaster” as 19 die in French floods

FRENCH authorities have said at least 16 people have died and three more are missing after Ferocious storms and flooding hit south-eastern France, on Saturday evening, October 3.

Amongst the dead were people caught in underground carparks and under bridges unable to get out of the way of rising floodwaters as the river Brague burst its banks.

Onlookers speaking to the BBC described the scene as “terrifying” as the streets of Cannes became a torrential river flooding railway stations and killing three senior citizens in their care home.

The Mayor of Cannes Davis Lisnard said: “Some cars were carried off into the sea. We have rescued a lot of people, and we must now be vigilant against looting.”

The heavy rain engulfed the French Riviera on Saturday night where Nice has reportedly been deluged with 10 per cent of its yearly rainfall in fewer than 48 hours.

The authorities were forced to close the main motorway through the area and halt trains, as hundreds of tourists sought shelter at Nice airport overnight while approximately 27,000 homes in the region lost electricity supplies.

The catastrophic events prompted French President Francois Hollande to announce a state of Natural Disaster as Eric Ciotti, president of the Alpes-Maritimes department said via social media: “We have lived through an apocalyptic situation that we have never experience before.”

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