France on weather alert as man, 70, dies in floods
Orange weather alerts in 25 departments in north and southwest France
A 70-year-old man died after being trapped by rising flood waters in northern France.
Emergency services found the man's body at the side of a road close to the river Sambre in the village of Berlaimont, in the Nord department. Officials believe he had become trapped by rapidly rising floodwaters after going out to check on the state of the river.
A total 25 orange weather alerts remain in force in the north and southwest of the country in the latest weather update from forecasters Météo France.
The Aveyron and Corrèze are on orange alert for river and rain floods; the Charente, Charente-Maritime, Dordogne , Gers, Gironde, Haute-Garonne, Landes, Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne are on orange river flood alert, while rain-flooding is the key weather risk in Puy-de-Dôme and Cantal.
Les cours d'eau du sud-ouest montent sérieusement, comme ici avec un affluent du gave de Pau qui monte de plus en plus depuis hier soir. Vidéo prise à Mourenx (Pyrénées Atlantique) aujourd'hui à 15 h. #crues #inondations pic.twitter.com/wLnh1k9NxK— Extrême Météo (@ExtremeMeteo) January 31, 2021
"Over the 12 hours between 18:00 and 06:00, accumulations of around 20mm to 25mm have been observed over a large part of southern Corrèze" , reports Météo France, as well as "from 20 to 40 mm on the west of Cantal and the north of Aveyron ".
#inondations ciron. Affluents au max+ciron hors lit+garonne haute qui empêche l'écoulement+80 mm de pluie depuis vendredi (sur landiras par exemple) = grosse crue. "comme en mai 2020 mardi ou mercredi", previent le syndicat du ciron. Sortez les bottes. pic.twitter.com/Sq6WdtXM1A— Arnaud Dejeans (@ArnaudDejeans) February 1, 2021
The rain is expected to last all day and is falling on saturated land then flowing into already full streams.
More generally, the weather will remain cloudy and often wet over most of the country, with only Mediterranean regions likely to see blue skies - though showers are possible there. Heavy clouds will cover the rest of the country, with rain or drizzle in the north and northeast and more continuous rains elsewhere.