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Floods in Southern Europe Dead and missing in Spain and Italy

Published : 23 Oct 2019 08:27 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 05:23 AM

A woman and her son were inside a mobile bungalow when the River Francolí burst its banks and washed it away, report agencies. Flash floods in northern Italy left two people dead on Tuesday and roads in the south of France were blocked as rivers burst their banks. Parts of Narbonne Plage and Béziers were inundated by floodwater.

Ten departments in southern France were placed on orange alert. Cars were submerged and the waters of the River Orb rose dangerously beneath a historic bridge in Béziers. Forecasters said 240mm (9in) of rain had fallen in the past 24 hours, a 50-year record. The north-east Spanish region of Catalonia suffered its second period of torrential rain in two months.

Streams became raging torrents, and a 70-year-old man who tried to move his car was caught up in the flood at Arenys de Munt. His body was found on a beach hours later. A mother aged around 70 and her 40-year-old son were in their prefabricated bungalow at Vilaverd, a village north of Tarragona, when the River Francolí burst its banks and washed the building away.

Two other people are being treated as missing. They were in a car when it was hit by the flood. Police found an empty car in the flooded River Francolí on Wednesday and were trying to find out if it belonged to the missing pair. Meteorologists blamed the torrential rain on a cold front known as a high-level isolated depression (Dana).

Torrential rain also caused major disruption in northern Italy. Two people died and the Piedmont region asked for a state of emergency to be declared in the Alessandria area. One of those who died was a taxi driver. Fabrizio Torre, 52, had been driving a customer, reportedly a British man, from Genoa airport to a golf club when his signal disappeared. In his last call to colleagues he described seeing water everywhere. The customer was reportedly found alive, clinging to a tree. Another man of 81 died when his car turned over in Turin province.