Deadly Major #Flooding After 120mm of #Rain in 3 Hours in South #France

Floods in Hérault, France October 2019. Credit: Pompiers 34 Hérault

The government in France says three people have died in weather-related incidents over the last few days after severe storms and torrential rain hit southern parts of the country.

France’s Interior Ministry said in a statement of 24 October: “Over the past three days, particularly severe storms have hit the south of France, causing three deaths and serious damage to the region.”

Rescue workers have carried out 1,773 operations across southern France since Sunday. More than 2000 firefighters and civil security forces were mobilised to respond to the crisis situation that affected up to 8 departments.

The Ministry did not give details of the fatalities. Local media reported that one person died after being swept away by flood waters near Beziers in Hérault department, which was among the worst hit areas. Firefighters in Hérault said they rescued 1,000 people from floods on 23 October. As of 24 October, roads in the department remained blocked in at least 17 locations.

Meteo France said that 243mm of rain fell in a 24-hour period to 23 October at Béziers-Courtade. As much as 120 mm of rain fell in less than 3 hours. The River Orb which runs through the city rose to dangerous levels jumping from around 7 metres on 22 October to 11.28 metres late on 23 October, the third highest level on record.

In the neighbouring Bouches-du-Rhône department, firefighters carried out more than 200 weather-related interventions on 23 October. Flooding also affected parts of Var, Aude and Gard departments. As of 24 October authorities said the heavy rain was moving towards northern Corsica.

Courtesy of

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