Ten people are reported killed and thousands homeless in heavy floods that have swept through eight departments in the south-west region of central France, destroying houses, cutting roads, railways and telephone communications.
Ten people are reported killed and thousands homeless in heavy floods that have swept through eight departments in the south-west region of central France, destroying houses, cutting roads, railways and telephone communications. At Brives-la-Gaillarde Oct 4 - one of the worst hit towns - the rain-swollen Correze River flooded several factories, covered three bridges and cut off the electricity supply. Seven thousand were rendered homeless as the streets became swirling rivers.
Two days of persistent rain caused the river to overflow and hundreds of tons of muddy water submerged fields, gardens and roads around Brives. Eight miles away, the railway line between the town and Clermont Ferrand was completely uprooted.
Some 5,000 people were said to be homeless in Tulle where the waters from the Correze River rose 16 feet during the night. There was a critical shortage of food supplies in the town.
In Cahors - where the River Lot overflowed - one woman was swept away by the floods, another was buried under the ruins of her house and a third drowned in her car. Two more women drowned in the neighbourhood of Aubusson. The River Creuse - below Aubusson - burst a dam and orders were given to evacuate all villages on the river bank.
The main railway from Paris to Toulouse was cut and traffic was diverted. At Bretenoux 160 people were stranded as waters completely encircled the railway station.
Floods were beginning to subside Oct 5 in the areas originally hit but, towards the west, water was still rising on the rivers flowing into the Atlantic. The River Rhone was also rising and reached danger level at Avignon.