Overnight flash flooding in France and Spain has caused widespread damage.
While there were no reports of casualties, fire fighters were forced to evacuate dozens of people when rivers burst there banks in the south-east of France near the Cote d’Azur. Local residents described their shock at the sudden rise in water. ‘‘A wave came crashing in on us. I was up to my neck in water. It was the first time I saw anything like that. We’ve lost everything, no IDs, no money, nothing,’‘ one man said. The French Basque country was also badly affected by the deluge. Several highspeed TGV rail lines were cut after the equivalent of 2 months of rain fell in 24 hours, however authorities said things were slowly getting back to normal on Saturday morning. Across the border in Spain, the extreme weather inundated several towns and brought down power lines and telephone cables. Some 20 litres of rain per square metre reportedly fell in 20 minutes at one point and despite a lull in the storm, the north of the country remains on high alert. As many as four people have died this week in Spain due to the violent storms, but fortunately Friday night’s downpour only caused material damage.