Three people have been killed in torrential rain that flooded towns and villages in southern France earlier this week.
A 68-year-old British woman died after being swept away in floodwaters outside her home in Cazouls'd-Herault, located about 30 miles west of Montpellier. She was airlifted to the hospital on Wednesday after being discovered by emergency workers nearby, according to local media reports. The details of the two other flood-related deaths in France are unknown at this time.
"We are supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Cazouls-d'Herault and our staff are in contact with the French authorities," a Foreign Office spokesman told Sky News.
This Oct. 23, 2019 image made by Twitter user @SDIS34 shows cars flooded in the southern France. France’s Interior ministry says three people have been killed in torrential rains that flooded towns and villages in southern France this week. (@SDIS34 via AP)
France's Interior Ministry says over 2,000 emergency workers have been called to help with the extreme rain and flooding that tore through eight counties along the Mediterranean and inland areas of France. The town of Beziers – 18 miles southwest of Cazouls-d'Herault - was among the hardest hit by the storms in recent days, evacuating dozens after it saw more rain in 24 hours than it had in the entire previous year.
The substantial flooding was able to move blocks of cement.
One resident said they've never seen floodwaters rise as they did, sweeping away cars while damaging homes and city streets. Rescue workers carried out nearly 1,800 operations since last Sunday and eight departments were placed on high alert for flash floods, an interior ministry statement said, according to the Guardian.
This Oct. 23, 2019 image made by Twitter user @SDIS34 shows a flooded area in the southern France. France’s Interior ministry says three people have been killed in torrential rains that flooded towns and villages in southern France this week. (@SDIS34 via AP)
"I've never seen water rise that fast. I've lived here for 20 years and this is the first time," Jean-Louis, a retiree near Beziers, told Reuters TV.
Rainfall reached 6.5 inches in 24 hours in the city of Beziers.
In other areas of Western Europe, storms left two people dead in Italy's Piedmont region, while authorities found the body of a man on a beach at Arenys de Mar, located 27 miles north of Barcelona. 20,000 people in the Spanish region lost power, according to Sky News.
A tornado also touched down in Ibiza on Tuesday, injuring three people and uprooting hundreds of trees, according to the outlet.