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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 24 January, 2020
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At least seven dead from heavy rain in France, Italy and Greece

People have been trapped in their cars and roads have been closed by the floods.

Rescue workers in a flooded street in southern France yesterday.
Rescue workers in a flooded street in southern France yesterday.
Image: AP/PA Images

AT LEAST SEVEN people have died as heavy rain hit the Riviera coasts of France and Italy, trapping travellers in their cars, as well as parts of western Greece.

Some roads remained closed today on the French Riviera, and rivers were still rising in Italy after the weekend flooding.

The administration for France’s Var region said four people died, including a couple in their 70s whose car got submerged.

Another died after a French rescue boat sank in the Mediterranean and another was found dead in a car.

In Greece, the bodies of the two men believed to be tourists were recovered late last night and early this morning near the port of Antirio, 155 miles west of Athens after a sailboat they were using was caught in the severe weather.

In northern Italy, a woman was found dead after the Bomida river swept away her car.

Rescuers are also searching for possible victims after a landslide caused the collapse of a stretch of an elevated road near the flooded city of Savona.

Firefighter commander Emanuele Gizzi told SKY TG24 on Monday that “we still don’t have the certainty that there is absolutely no one” missing.

Drivers who witnessed the collapse were able to stop in time. There were no reports of witnesses seeing vehicles fall with the roadway, but the search continued as a precaution.

Meanwhile, the level of the Ticino River in the Lombard city of Pavia was continuing to rise, flooding streets by about 15 cm and forcing some residents to evacuate.

In France, rivers started receding slowly but many families who evacuated still could not return home. Authorities worked to restore electricity and clear roads of fallen trees and mud.

In Greece, hundreds of homes were flooded following an overnight storm that affected areas west of Athens.

Torrential rain and mudslides caused the closure of the road linking the Greek capital to the western port city of Patras.

The worst flooding occurred at the seaside resort of Kineta, where mudslides came from a nearby forest fire-damaged hillside.

Several dozen people trapped in their cars and in flooded homes were rescued by the fire service.

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