An aerial view of Saint-Martin-Vesubie after the bad weather of October 3, 2020. -
The body of a man was found Sunday in his submerged car in Saint-Martin-Vésubie, in the Alpes-Maritimes, bringing to at least four the number of deaths caused by the deadly weather that hit the south-east of the France and northern Italy on Friday.
“There was a torrential rain on Friday morning, and at 5:00 pm everything collapsed.
The houses, the parking lots, the fire station… All those who were near the river, we are 30 families who lost our house, and everything we owned ”: Sunday, Sandra Dizdt, a 62-year-old pensioner living in Saint-Martin-Vésubie, described to AFP the violence of the episode which hit the hinterland of Nice.
No precise assessment to date
Two days after this deluge, the firefighters of the Alpes-Maritimes still counted eight people "missing", and 13 others "wanted" - the missing persons having been washed away in front of witnesses.
On the Italian side, the authorities have already reported three deaths, including a shepherd found, according to Italian firefighters, in France.
In addition, at least four bodies were discovered Sunday stranded on the Italian coast, announced the Italian news agency Ansa and other media, specifying that the Italian and French authorities were jointly seeking to determine their identity.
As the Ligurian authorities have not reported any missing so far, the investigators' favored hypothesis is that some of the victims are people reported missing or wanted in France, according to the agency.
The French authorities have not commented on this information.
The precise report of the bad weather was therefore not known on Sunday evening.
950 firefighters are still working
More than 950 firefighters were still at work on the French side of the border on Sunday, continuing to reconnoitre still isolated areas, participating in clearing operations and supplying the populations, they said.
In Saint-Martin-Vésubie, in Breil-sur-Roya, or on the Italian side too, the same images: houses collapsed or washed away by the waves, cars engulfed in mud, bridges and roads torn off.
In Italy, it had been decades since the inhabitants had seen such a disaster: from the riviera to the valleys of Piedmont, the flood devastated entire villages, swept away bridges and roads, aggravating the distress of the inhabitants after months of a ruinous confinement for local activity.
The Italian regions of Piedmont and Liguria have asked Rome to declare a state of emergency.
In France, the State has launched the “natural disaster” procedure.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex did not hide “his deep concern” on the final results of these exceptional bad weather.
The prefecture has announced the dispatch in each of the isolated municipalities of a soldier, a firefighter and a prefecture official to come to the aid of the mayors.
Monday, military engineers should take part in road clearing operations, in an attempt to open up areas still cut off from the world.
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