Central France on alert for violent storms as man swept away in floods

One man is missing after storms battered parts of central France on Tuesday night. Some 12 departments have been placed on alert on Wednesday with the public warned to be vigilant.

Central France on alert for violent storms as man swept away in floods
Photo: AFP

The missing man is believed to be a farmer who was swept away in his tractor by a torrent of flood water after storms hit the department of Haute-Loire in south central France.

The 27-year-old was swept away on Tuesday afternoon in the village of Brignon. According to reports he was helping firefighters find a way to a house an elderly person who was stranded due to flood waters when his vehicle was swept away.

Rescue teams continued to search for him on Wednesday morning.

Two kayakers were also reported missing in the same area but have since been accounted for.

Villages in the department were badly hit by hail stones, strong winds and floods after river levels rose rapidly following downpours.

Houses were submerged and cars were taken away by the powerful torrents. Roads were left blocked by fallen trees.


On Wednesday it was the turn of 12 departments in the south and east of the country to be placed on Orange alert for violent storms (see map below)



An orange alert warning for storms means the public are asked to be vigilant especially when travelling and taking part in leisure activities.





South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.