On Monday, the emergency services were still looking for around twenty people in France after the floods which devastated regions in the south-east of this country and north-west of Italy on Friday, where it was difficult to send basic necessities.
In France, “the search to find missing persons continues, as the clearing to try to restore the access routes” to the disaster areas, declared the firefighters of the department of Alpes-Maritimes, according to which 20 people in total are missing.
Water, baby food, food, medicines, etc .: around ten tons of essential goods were transported on Monday to the valleys of these French regions.
“Up there, there is nothing left”, explained Philippe Pradal, the deputy president of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis, at the start of a dozen trucks which must transport essential products to the places. the most isolated since the disaster.
Entire houses have been shattered by mudslides, asphalt roads have been crushed, bridges have been swallowed up, and many amenities have been destroyed. With the destruction of departmental roads, access for relief efforts to affected populations is made very difficult.
To give an idea of the unprecedented nature of the storm Alex, the Italian meteorologist Luca Mercalli told the newspaper on Monday Fatto Quotidiano that “about 600 millimeters of rain” had “fallen in less than 24 hours” on the Italian village of Limone Piemonte and the French valley of Roya. “That’s half of the annual falls in a single day,” unheard of “since the start of these statistics in 1913,” he said.
On the French side, in the Roya valley, above Menton, the road is only passable as far as the town of Breil-sur-Roya by making a detour via passes. Four villages (Fontan, Saorge, La Brigue and Tende) and the dependent hamlets remained inaccessible by land on Monday at midday.
The final human toll of the bad weather is still far from being established: the firemen of the Alpes-Maritimes evoke two deaths, one having been found in Saint-Martin-Vésubie and another near Ventimiglia in Italy.
Italian authorities reported a total of three deaths, but it was not possible on Monday to determine whether one of the three victims was part of the count made public on the French side.
In addition, the commander of the coast guard at the Italian port of Imperia, in Liguria [nord-ouest], told AFP that the bodies of four people had been discovered on the Ligurian shores, not far from the French coast, and that their identification was in progress.
According to the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez, these corpses are in a state of “great decomposition” and “must very probably correspond” to coffins washed away in the floods of French cemeteries.