More Rain Hits Southern France, Death Toll Rises To 22

Paris, France (CNN) — The death toll from flash flooding in southern France rose to 22 on Thursday as rain continued to inundate the region, authorities said.

Up to 20 millimeters (0.8 inches) of rain fell in some areas overnight, the Var prefecture said in a statement. Despite the additional rain, most of the flood waters have begun to recede and cleanup has begun.

Some 104,000 homes were without electricity across the region, and 20,000 homes were without phone connections, the prefecture said.

The flooding, which began Tuesday, forced 2,000 people into shelters, officials said Thursday. Some 1,200 firefighters and 650 police officers have taken part in the rescue effort, the prefecture said. More than 1,400 people have been rescued by helicopter and 100 have been rescued by boat.

The flooding also forced French authorities to transfer more than 400 inmates at Draguignan prison to other prisons in the south of France.

Var includes the Cote d’Azur, a popular tourist destination along the French Riviera.

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 17, 2010 — Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)

Source: CNN

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