France, Italy battered by heavy floods brought by Storm Alex; at least 8 missing, 2 dead
French authorities deployed about 1,000 firefighters, four military helicopters and troops on Sunday to help search for at least eight people missing in the southeast mountainous area after the devastating flood. Storm Alex killed at least two people in neighboring Italy.
After nearly a year’s average rainfall fell in less than 12 hours, the flood washed away houses around Nice on the French Riviera and destroyed roads and bridges. The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said that more than 100 houses were destroyed or severely damaged.
On Sunday, rescuers also provided emergency assistance, including food and water, to residents living in remote villages.
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Those missing in France included two firefighters whose vehicles were taken by a torrent when a road collapsed south of the village of Saint-Martin-Vesubie. The authorities worry about more victims, because many families are unable to contact relatives due to the interruption of mobile phone service.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex (Jean Castex) took a helicopter over the area and expressed “serious concern” about the damage caused by the flood.
According to the “Weather Channel” report, Castex said at the press conference: “As I said, the top priority is to find victims, provide supplies and accommodation for the victims, and restore communication.”
“All my thoughts on the victims of storm Alex and their loved ones. The state works with elected officials to help France. We will overcome this ordeal together.” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter on Saturday . “I would like to express my great gratitude to the firefighters, soldiers, police officers and all the troops involved in the field battle.”
French energy company Enedis said about 10,500 houses were out of power on Sunday.
In Italy, a firefighter was killed in a rescue operation in the northern Val d’Aosta mountains. A search team also found a body in the province of Vercelli in the Piedmont region, where a man in his 30s died after his car was washed away by a flood.
Italian firefighters also rescued 25 people trapped on the French side of the Alpine Passage due to flooding. Several German tourists were among those rescued from the high mountain pass in the Alps.
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