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Environment

More storms forecast for south of France as Montpellier counts cost of floods

media Passengers and local residents take shelter at Montpellier's Saint Roch railway station on Monday night AFP Photo / Sylvain Thomas

Weather forecasters issued a storm warning for part of the south of France on Tuesday after torrential rain and floods caused millions of euros of damage in the area around the city of Montpellier.

The Météo France weather service placed the south-eastern Var department on orange alert on Tuesday and warned of more heavy rain and flooding on the east Pyrenees mountains and their foothills.

Interactive map of France

The Var could expect up to 100mm of rainfall in some parts, especially the south which borders the Mediterranean.

But it lifted a storm warning for Montpellier and the surrounding Hérault department as well as for the Gard, around Nîmes and the seaside resort of Aigues-Mortes, while warning of a continuing danger of flooding.

Rescue services and residents were clearing up in Montpellier and the Hérault after record rainfall flooded the city, causing damage put at millions of euros.

“The equivalent of half a year’s rainfall fell on Montpellier in a few hours,” Météo France announced, putting the total at 300mm or 300 litres per square kilometres.

Montpellier’s football club tweeted that “disaster” had befallen its ground and training centre.

Rail traffic was returning to normal mid-Tuesday and full services were expected to be running by the end of the day.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was expected in the city mid-afternoon after promising to persuade the cabinet to declare a “natural catastrophe”, which entitles residents to compensation, in the area.

About 100 people were evacuated from a campsite in the Gard on Monday, while others were moved from a medical centre and a travellers’ camp.
 

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