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At least six dead as severe weather wreaks havoc across parts of Europe


Six fatalities, power disruptions, and widespread devastations have been reported over the past weekend, November 23, 2019 and 24, as severe storms lashed parts of Europe. In France and Italy, four people died and one person was missing after torrential rain caused flooding and landslide. In Greece, thunderstorms and strong winds caused a boat to sink, killing two people. 

The boat was moored next to a pier in Antirio, western Greece. In Kineta, south of Athens, the Fire Service evacuated several people from their flooded houses.

The rain was the latest in a two-week wave of severe weather that battered the region.

In Italy, a portion of a viaduct in the region of Liguria running between Turin and France was washed away by an apparent mudslide, leaving a 30 m (100 feet) gap in the road.

SIAS, the company operating the highway, said investigations are being carried out. No casualties have been reported.

In the Piedmont region, a 52-year-old missing woman was discovered dead after her car was swept away by floodwaters from a swollen river. According to the media, two other people in the car had managed to escape in time.

The worst-affected area in Italy was Alessandria, south of Turin, where 200 people were displaced while 600 were left stranded. In the Aosta valley further north, roads were closed due to avalanche threats and 500 residents were also evacuated.

In France, two fatalities and one missing person were reported as high floodwaters swept cars and turned roads into rivers.

One body was found in the Le Muy village, where a rescue dinghy had capsized on Saturday, November 23. It was carrying three people from the fire brigade and three civilians.

The second body was retrieved in the Cabasse village. Local authorities have not given further details yet. A man in his 70s was still reported missing in the Saint-Antonin-du-Var village.

The worst-hit area was the town of Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the Var region, and it is only accessible by boat or helicopter.

Several rivers burst their banks across southeastern France, damaging homes and knocking trees.

Heavy rainfall continued on Sunday, November 24, but it was less powerful compared to the previous days. Around 4 500 families have been left without power across Var and Alpes Maritimes.

In some areas of Var, the rain was intense in 24 to 48 hours that it was equivalent to two or three months of rain.

According to a resident named Jean-Luc Videlaine, the rains had been of "historic" intensity, and the damage would be "considerable".

Despite water levels gradually going down, he added that the situation would be "far from returning to normal."

Featured image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS. Acquired November 24, 2019


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