Despite warnings, many were caught unawares by the violence of last night’s downpours in the South of France, with 4,000 requiring emergency accommodation
“We came to visit the aquarium in Montpellier. We never thought we’d end up being surrounded by water ourselves.” These were the words of one Swiss family who were on holiday at La Grande-Motte in the Hérault department, where yesterday a six-month supply of rain fell in one night.
As they left the aquarium on the east side of Montpellier, they were blocked on the dual carriageway that leads to the sea, along with hundreds of other motorists. At the Zénith stadium in the town, they had to spend the night in an emergency shelter set up by the Red Cross.
In all, more than 4,000 people had to be sheltered in emergency accommodation last night, including 1,000 people at the Montpellier railway station, where trains had also ground to a halt because of the calamitous weather.
Video (with commentary in French) showing authorities in the Hérault dealing with floods, where over 60 communes declared a state of emergency