The toll of flood victims in southeastern France increases after the discovery of three new bodies, bringing the death toll to seven. At least 20 other people are missing in towns in France and Italy, after a strong storm caused torrents that flooded streets and homes and left several populations isolated
The aid services continued searching in France this Monday for some 20 missing people after the floods that devastated parts of the southeast of that country and northwest of Italy on Friday.
In France, “the search for missing persons continues, as well as the clearing of debris to try to restore access routes,” said the firefighters of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
Some ten tons of basic necessities were transported Monday to the valleys of these French regions, including water, baby food, food and medicine.
Transportation with trucks
“There is nothing left up there,” said Philippe Pradal, deputy president of the metropolis of Nice Côte d’Azur, at the exit of a dozen trucks that must transport essential products to the most isolated areas since the catastrophe.
Entire houses were washed away by landslides and bridges have collapsed. With the destruction of departmental roads, the access of relief workers to the affected areas has become very difficult.
To give an idea of the unprecedented nature of storm Alex, Italian meteorologist Luca Mercalli explained to the Fatto Quotidiano newspaper on Monday that “some 600 millimeters of rain fell in less than 24 hours” on the Italian town of Limone Piemonte and the valley French for Roya. “That’s half the annual rainfall in a single day,” he said, which is unprecedented “since the beginning of these statistics in 1913.”
On the French side, in the Roya valley, above the town of Menton, the road is only accessible as far as the commune of Breil-sur-Roya. Four villages (Fontan, Saorge, La Brigue and Tende) and the dependent villages remained inaccessible by road on Monday at noon.