Oct 06, 2020 07:40 AM EDT
Officials of Italy and France reported finding nine bodies in the French-Italian border after Storm Alex swept the two countries’ border regions, causing record heavy rainfall and massive floods that swept at least 100 homes destroyed roads.
Storm Alex brought fierce rains and howling gales in several villages in the city of Nice on the French Riviera. The storm brought massive devastation that after an aerial survey, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi dubbed it as the worst flooding in the area for more than a century.
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In the Piedmont region, rainfall in 24 hours was at 630 mm (24.8 inches) in Sambughetto near Switzerland, more than half its annual average rainfall. The Piedmont regional chief, Alberto Cirio, called for declaring the region in a state of emergency.
The River Po water level increased to three meters (9.84 feet) in just 24 hours. Italian firefighters also rescued at least 25 people on a high mountain pass on the French side.
Venice was spared from flooding due to the flood barrier system.
Weather experts recorded the rainfall in Saint-Martin-Vésubie at 500 mm (19.69 inches) of rain over 24 hours. In other towns, rainfall was recorded to almost 400 mm. The recorded rainfall of Storm Alex was equivalent to more than three months of rain at this time of the year.
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Damage of Storm Alex
As of October 4, authorities reported that they found seven bodies within Italy and France’s borders on Friday. Authorities discovered five more bodies on Sunday in northwestern Italy. Four of which were found in the shores between the towns of Ventimiglia and Santo Stefano al Mare. Authorities said that the total fatalities as of Sunday evening totaled to nine.
In France, two bodies were found. Among which did the Italian rescue team found a shepherd. A body was also found in a vehicle that was swept away by floods in Saint-Martin-Vésubie village.
According to French firefighters, 21 people are still missing, eight of which due to the storm’s direct impact since Sunday.
About 1,000 firefighters, four military helicopters, and numerous troops were deployed to search for missing people.
Firefighters concentrated their rescue efforts in Roya Valley, searching for survivors and assisting people whose homes were damaged or inaccessible.
The French energy company reported that about 10,500 homes did not have electricity as authorities call for a region’s declaration as a natural disaster zone.
The storm caused damage worth millions of euros, as several bridges in. Streets became litters with debris, mud, and overturned cars. Floods destroyed several bridges in Italy.
Floods swept a three-story house into a river in Limone Piemonte.
Floodwaters damaged the village of Tanaro, sweeping dozens of coffins.
Saint-Martin-Vésubie, several villages n the steep-sided valley of the mountainous region, isolated one of the deeply affected areas.
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