Cars clog the streets and water is up to two metres high in some homes after an onslaught described as cataclysmic by locals.
A clean up is underway in France’s flood-hit Var region but those who live there are still in shock. Some have lost everything
“There is nothing left….everything has gone,” said one man. “A one and a half metre high wave devasted the shop in 10 minutes.”
“I was born in Draguignan, 60 years ago. I have seen nothing like it,” another man added.
One man told how he and others were inside a warehouse hit by the floods.
“The water rose. Windows cracked. We said ‘we have got to get out.’ But there was a torrent. The windows smashed. A wave burst in and we went out to take refuge in the trucks and on top of the cars,” he said.
As cars were washed away, trains along the coast were blocked and Toulon airport was closed for a time as its runways were flooded. More than 1,000 people fled to temporary shelters for the night with a scene of devastation awaiting them as daylight dawned.