France -Deadly Floods in South West After 244mm of Rain in 6 Hours

At least 6 people have died in floods affecting parts of southern France after extremely heavy rainfall over night, 14 to 15 October, 2018.

The heaviest of the rain fell in Aude department. Meteo France said that in a 12 period to early 15 October, 295 mm of rain fell was recorded Trèbes, which is the equivalent of 4 months of rain. Furthermore, 244 mm of that total fell in just a 6 hour period.

Elsewhere, 211 mm of rain was recorded in Arquettes-en-Val, 178 mm in Mouthoumet, 172 mm in Les Martys and 138 mm in Carcassonne.

A red warning (highest level) for flooding Aude Department is in place. An orange level for flooding is in place for Pyrénées-Orientales department and orange level warnings for heavy rain have been issued for Tarn, Herault and Aveyron departments.

Vigicrues, the flood information service provided by France’s Environment Ministry, reports that rivers are at red alert level (level 4 of 4) in areas of the Vallée Centrale in Aude Department. Orange and yellow warnings have been issued for other rivers in the south west of France.

Levels of the Aude River at Trèbes jumped 7 metres overnight, reaching levels not seen since the floods of October 1891. As of 07:30 on 15 October the river stood at 7.68 metres. In 1891 the river reached 7.95 metres.

In a statement of 15 October, France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said flooding was affecting the municipalities of Carcassonne, Conques sur Orbiel, Aragon, Berriac, Trèbes, Floure, Villegailhenc, Villemoustaussou and Villalier.

Firefighters have carried out over 250 interventions since last night in Carcassonne. Edouard Philippe said that 350 firefighters, supported by 160 gendarmes, have been deployed and several helicopters have been mobilized.

French News Agency AFP reported 6 deaths as of early 15 October, including 1 in Villardonnel, 4 in Villegailhenc, near Carcassonne and 1 in Trèbes.

Floods in Var Department, Corsica and Sardinia

Two people died in flooding in Var department, France, last week, after their vehicle was swept into the see by flood waters near Saint-Maxime. Firefighters made more than 275 interventions, and 26 people were rescued. The flooding came after torrential rain fell in the area overnight, causing the Garonnette river to burst its banks. Over 170 mm of rain was recorded in 24 hours to 11 October in Les Arcs, Var Department.

Heavy rain also fell in the Mediterranean islands of Corsica (France) and Sardinia (Italy) where one person died after her vehicle was swept away by flood water near the town of Assemini.

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