Flash floods triggered by torrential downpours near France’s Mediterranean coast have claimed at least 19 lives.
Six months worth of rain fell in less than 24 hours in some places. And while some residents climbed onto the roofs of their homes and escaped via helicopter, the number of victims is set to rise, with several people still unaccounted for.
The disaster has struck towns and villages in the Var department of southeastern France. With Draguignan prison flooded, more than 400 inmates had to be moved to safety.
Local people said they were surprised by the speed at which the waters rose, turning streets into torrents and carrying away cars as if they were toys. Tens of thousands of homes lost electricity.
In February, a ferocious storm and surging tide killed 53 people in southwestern France. Weather forecasters have warned that the country’s latest bout of extreme weather may not be over yet.