Rescue workers rescued or evacuated hundreds of people in southern France as flash floods suddenly turned roads and fields into rivers and lakes
PARIS – Rescuers have rescued or evacuated hundreds of people in southern France as flash floods suddenly turned roads and fields into rivers and lakes.
As further heavy rains threatened the region on Wednesday, the Gard emergency service said rescuers were looking for at least one person missing after flooding Tuesday night.
No casualties were reported, but local authorities said the rains had caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure in towns and villages between Nimes and Montpellier.
One person was struck by lightning but survived, and the roof of a supermarket collapsed with the pounding water, according to the regional emergency service.
Evacuees from a campground described on BFM television seeing the waters soar towards their campers. About 800 firefighters were mobilized to rescue people by helicopter and other means.
Schools in the area were closed on Wednesday as clean-up work began in some towns.
The flooding comes after a season of extreme weather conditions that has seen devastating forest fires near the French Riviera and around the Mediterranean, record flooding in Germany and Belgium, and droughts or heat waves in other parts of the world. Scientists say such events are expected but are occurring more frequently now that the planet is warming due to man-made climate change.