Four dead, three missing in French floods
Four people died and several were missing after violent storms triggered flash flooding, uprooting trees and ripping off roofs in southeastern France, authorities said Friday.
Helicopters, soldiers, divers and paramilitary police carried out dozens of rescue operations in the region, hit by weeks of successive storms and flooding.
Local government authorities said the body of a 50-year-old man was found Friday afternoon as downpours and strong winds continued to pound the region.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced earlier the deaths of three women in the Mediterranean towns of La Londe-les-Maures, Grimaud and Hyeres.
Regional authorities later said another three people were missing.
One of the victims was a woman whose body was found next to her car alongside a river, said Pierre Soubelet, the prefect of the Var department on the Mediterranean coast. The woman was understood to have been out with her eight-year-old daughter at the time.
"Her daughter has not been found. It is likely that the child has died," he said.
In the Herault region a mini-tornado accompanied by winds of 165km/h ripped trees out of the ground and smashed windows.
Earlier this month, storms in southern France left six people dead, including a mother and her two small sons, whose vehicle was swept away on a submerged bridge.
© 2014 AFP