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At least nine dead as heavy rain hits France, Italy and Greece

Authorities worked to restore electricity and clear roads of fallen trees and mud.

A man walks past a car moved by the force of flood water after storms in Kineta village, near Athens (Petros Giannakouris/AP)
A man walks past a car moved by the force of flood water after storms in Kineta village, near Athens (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

At least nine people have died after heavy rain slammed the Riviera coasts of France and Italy and caused flooding in parts of Greece.

Some roads remained closed on Monday 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 from the perfume capital of Grasse whose car got submerged. Another died after a French rescue boat sank in the Mediterranean and a fourth was found dead in a car.

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Rescue workers in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, southern France. (Pompiers du Var/AP)

In Greece, the bodies of the two men believed to be tourists were recovered late on Sunday and early Monday near the port of Antirio, 155 miles west of Athens, after a yacht was caught in the severe weather.

Another two women died when storms hit the country’s eastern Aegean Sea islands late on Monday, state ERT TV said. One died when her basement room on Rhodes flooded, while the other drowned on the island of Kos when she went for a swim in stormy seas.

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.

Fire service commander Emanuele Gizzi told Sky TG24 “we still don’t have the certainty that there is absolutely no one” missing.

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The collapsed bridge near Savona (Franco Bolzoni/ANSA/AP)

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

The collapse of the raised highway, 15 months after a deadly bridge collapse in Genoa, has raised concerns anew about the safety of Italy’s highways, a large part of which are viaducts traversing mountainous terrain.

The level of the Ticino River in the Lombard city of Pavia was continuing to rise, flooding streets by about 15 centimetres 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.

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People inspect a damaged road after storms in Kineta village, (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Torrential rain and mudslides caused the closure of the main 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.

PA

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