Mediterranean flash floods leave trail of death and devastation

Mediterranean flash floods leave trail of death and devastation
Copyright Alexandre Houisse via REUTERS
By Alasdair SandfordJudith Prescott with Reuters
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More bodies have been found after torrential rain and flash floods brought havoc to the south of France and the islands of Mallorca and Sardinia.


Authorities are continuing to look for missing people following flash flooding in parts of Spain, Italy and France.

French Riviera

On France’s Riviera coast, the rise of the River Garonnette in the Var region swept five cars towards the nearby sea, as torrential rain wrought havoc on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.

Two people were found dead in one of the cars, which was tossed upside down in the water and left rocking on its roof in shallow-water waves on a beach. The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered by scuba divers at Saint-Maxime, near the famed film-festival city of Cannes.


In Italy, the island of Sardinia was also hit by bad weather. Hours of heavy rain pushed river levels dangerously high. A woman died after her car was trapped by the flooding, while a shepherd was reported missing.

The woman had been with her husband and three children who fled from their home, fearing that a nearby river at Assemini was set to burst its banks, ANSA reported.

Dozens of people in the Cagliari region were evacuated, and several roads were closed due to collapse or high water levels.


Clean-up operations are continuing in the Spanish island of Mallorca after deadly flash flooding killed at least 12 people, including three Germans, two Britons and a Dutch woman.

The British couple killed have been named by the UK Foreign Office as Antony and Delia Green, who lived at Moffat in southern Scotland. They were in their seventies and had been in a taxi which became submerged by flood water in the resort of S’illot. The taxi driver, Juan Sillero, was also killed.

The search has been ongoing for a five-year-old boy reported missing following the storm on Tuesday. His mother is thought to have died while trying to save him and his sister from flood waters. She reportedly managed to pull her seven-year-old daughter from their car but was dragged away with her son.

Residents are clearing mud and removing debris from the streets in San Llorenc des Cardassar, one of the towns most devastated by the sudden floods. Mallorcan-born tennis champion Rafael Nadal, who lives in the area, helped in the clean-up effort – while his tennis academy at nearby Manacor opened up as an emergency shelter.

The regional government has declared three days of mourning. Spain’s central government says it has taken the first steps to ensure that those affected receive the necessary help as soon as possible.

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