French Riviera floods: Briton among dead

As many as 19 people have died in the flash floods in the south of France

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The Independent Online

A British citizen is among the 19 people believed to have been killed by flash floods in the French Riviera over the weekend.

"After the floods in France of October 4th, we can confirm the death of a British national," a Foreign Office spokesperson said. “We remain in touch with the local authorities and continue to monitor the situation.”

Violent storms hit France's south-east region on Sunday with president Francois Hollande declaring a "natural disaster" in the region.

Witnesses described "horizontal rain" striking the Côte d’Azur with ice-cube sized hailstones falling on panicked residents on Saturday.

Local towns, including Cannes, reported as much as 10 per cent of their annual rain falling in 24-hours, as the nearby River Brague broke its banks and flooded.

As many as 19 people have died, including three elderly people who drowned when their retirement home outside Antibes was flooded. Others are reported to have perished when they were trapped in their cars in underground tunnels and car parks as the waters rapidly rose.

On Monday as many as 5,000 homes were still without electricity and 70,000 suffered power disruption the previous evening, France24 reported.

300 officers and 543 fire fighters have been dispatched across the area to conduct search and rescue operations, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed.