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Torrential storms in southern France leave 13 departments on orange alert

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By Mark Armstrong  with AFP
Electrical storms over southern France
Electrical storms over southern France   -   Copyright  AFP / THEOGRZ   -  

Thirteen departments in the south of France were still on an orange alert due to flooding on Wednesday.

The torrential rain left numerous localities under water and forced the mobilisation of hundreds of police and firefighters. It also instilled fear and panic among residents of the region.

"We were really scared, really scared, I was scared to die, honestly I wasn`t well, " said one man who lives in the city of Nîmes.

Local authorities said a violent storm dumped up to 135mm of rain on Nîmes over Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning before the storm moved eastwards towards the Provence region.

The downpours were accompanied by strong electrical activity, hailstones and wind gusts of up to 100km/h.

So far there've been no reports of casualties but damage to buildings and infrastructure is still being assessed.