Graves have been disemboweled and coffins washed away by the Bieugne torrent -

M. Bernouin / ANP / 20 Minutes

  • In the Roya valley, devastated by the floods, the cemetery of Saint-Dalmas de Tende was devastated by the waves.

  • Graves have been washed away and may have been found miles away on the Italian coast.

In the Roya valley,

In Saint-Delmas-de-Tende (Alpes-Maritimes), even the dead were victims of bad weather.

In this small village in the valley of Roya, the exceptional floods of the weekend washed away a large part of the old cemetery… and its coffins.

Mausoleums are gutted.

The remains of several deceased left with the surging waves of the torrent of Bieugne.

They could have been transported by water to the Italian coast, in Ventimiglia.

On site, the isolated inhabitants of this village cut off from the world still cannot believe it.

Posted in front of the wrought iron gate that remained standing at the entrance to the cemetery, Marie Guido was in shock.

" You realize ?

I didn't think I could see that one day in my life… They hadn't asked for anything, ”blows this 84-year-old resident.

"It's made to meditate, but there is nothing left"

Marble slabs and tombs are scattered below, in the bed of the torrent.

According to the mayor of the village, 150 graves were washed away.

“I think it's my family's vault, with a coffin, that you can see there in the void.

There is only this piece left.

Before, there was a chapel here, there were drawers.

And there, there is nothing more.

A burial is made to recollect.

But there is nothing left, repeats Chantal Bocchin.

We are not going to rebuild, there is nothing to rebuild.


A vault fallen into the bed of the torrent discovers a coffin - M. Bernouin / ANP / 20 Minutes

Located below the village stadium, one of the corners of which was also washed away by the flooding of the Bieugne torrent, the old cemetery adjoins a more recent one that has not been touched.

Always accessible by a small tree-lined road, the devastated place attracts people from the village, but some do not dare to come forward.

"There is a tenth of the cemetery left!"

My parents, they must be in Ventimiglia now, ”breathes a man who turns on his heels, trying to hide his emotion, no doubt to save himself from further trauma.

"Visions of horror"

"These people, already in psychological distress with the shock of the floods, were able to have visions of horror" by discovering what had happened to the burial of their ancestors, noted on the spot Doctor Samia Lahya, referring doctor of the medico-psychological unit of Vaucluse, specially dispatched to the site.

Especially since some remains carried away by the torrent of Bieugne could have been found miles away, in the mouth of the Roya river, in Ventimiglia, Italy.

At least four bodies, found on the Italian coast in a state of "great decomposition", "must very probably correspond" to the coffins carried away during these floods, declared the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes.


The bodies found on the Italian coast come "very probably" from French cemeteries

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