Flash floods kill at least 13 on French Riviera

Flooding caused by torrential rain along part of the French Riviera has killed 13 people according to authorities.

CANNES, FRANCE (OCTOBER 3, 2015) (ONEWAY PRODUCTIONS) – Flooding caused by torrential rain along part of the French Riviera has killed least 13 people, officials said Sunday (October 4).

The downpour hit the Alpes-Maritimes region — which lies at the eastern end of France’s Mediterranean coast and borders Italy — on Saturday evening (October 3).

Eight people have been found dead and another five are missing, the government’s local office said.

President Francois Hollande had earlier said there had been at least 12 deaths.

The first victims were three people killed at a retirement home that was flooded in Biot, local officials said.

In the resort town of Cannes, which hosts the annual film festival, the train station was flooded, leading to the interruption of local rail services, while cars were swept along streets by torrents.

The Palais des Festivals’s parking was flooded and torrential rains were preventing cars from driving.

A resident of Cannes whose car was taken away at a crossroads said he had to escape his vehicle through the window.

“We arrived at this crossroads, a lot of water was coming down the two-lane road and the car was taken away and left there, so we were forced to get out of the car through the window because the water had gone higher than the car windows. We were in the car and forced to come out of it through the windows,” a Cannes local resident said.

The flooding led to the closure of a local stretch of the A8 motorway and left thousands of homes without electricity.

In Nice, a soccer match between the town’s team and Nantes for the French first division was abandoned midway due to the rain, while hundreds of people were stranded overnight at a concert venue after attending a show by French rock legend Johnny Hallyday.