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At least 16 die in French floods

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By Euronews  with Reuters, AFP
At least 16 die in French floods

Officials now say at least 16 people have died in catastrophic flooding on the French Riviera.

Prime Minister Francois Hollande confirmed the news as he arrived by helicopter with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in the stricken region.

The extent of the damage only became clear at first light.

“It was a deluge for 90 minutes,” one man told reporters. “It started at around 9pm and it did not stop. There is almost two metres of water in our underground garage. Cars and scooters have gone.”

The coastal region has had the equivalent of a month’s rain in the last two days.

180 mm fell on Cannes between 7 and 10 pm on Saturday night.

Hundreds of people have spent the night on trains stranded in stations and in the terminal at Nice Airport.

The A8 motorway has been closed in both directions between the towns of Antibes and Saint Laurent-du-Var.

There is a warning the death toll may rise as several people are still missing.

Police reinforcements have been sent to the region to maintain law and order.