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France: 850 firefighters deployed as nine missing following heavy rainfall in south-east


Some 850 firefighters were on Saturday deployed in France's southeastern département of Alpes-Maritimes as nine people remain unaccounted for following heavy rainfalls.

"Currently we have nine people known to be missing and three supposed missing," the fire service of the Alpes-Maritime département said.

France has been battered by heavy rain since Storm Alex made landfall on Thursday afternoon. Brittany, in the north-west, and the Cote d'Azur, in the south-east, have been particularly affected.

Météo France said in a bulletin published on Saturday morning that although rainfall had weakened in the Alpes-Maritimes, the rise in the water level in a number of unmonitored watercourses still justified an amber warning.

The coastal département had been on red alert on Friday.

As much as 500 mm of rain feel locally in parts of département over the previous 24 hours, the meteorological agency stressed.

The torrential rains have caused considerable damage and caused power outages. Energy company Enedis said that 13,500 of its clients were still without electricity at 10 pm on Friday.

Several houses were washed away and the dramatic collapse of a bridge in Saint-Martin-Vésubie was also filmed by residents.

The fire service said that the village is among several still "cut off from the world."

They added that 850 firefighters — including 348 from outside the département — would be mobilised on Saturday to provide assistance to the "victims of Storm Alex."

"Our hearts go out to the families of those missing and especially to our two fellow firefighters," they said on Facebook.

Four helicopters from the Civil Security agency were also sent to assist in the rescue efforts, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said. 

Pictured:  Waves hit the shore in Nice on October 2, 2020 as storm Alex reaches the French riviera's coasts.   -   Copyright  Valery HACHE / AFP

 Source: Euronews


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