In a storm which lashed the Riviera from Hyeres to Genoa, huge waves swept over the seafront at Nice, France, Dec 1, flooding the Promenade des Anglais and other streets, smashing shop windows, stranding motorists and playing havoc with communications.
Waves breaking over sea front.
Flooded shops and cafes, swollen rivers.
Flood water rushing below bridge.
Cars submerged in flood water.
Rough seas lashing coast.
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Background: In a storm which lashed the Riviera from Hyeres to Genoa, huge waves swept over the seafront at Nice, France, Dec 1, flooding the Promenade des Anglais and other streets, smashing shop windows, stranding motorists and playing havoc with communications.
Within an hour the promenade and the Quai des Etats-Unis were covered with pebbles for a distance of more than a mile. Many cars had to be abandoned in stretches where the pebbles were a foot deep. Thirty people were evacuated by rubber dinghy from an old building threatened with collapse in a street off the seafront.
A landslide on the Italian side of the frontier blocked the road from Nice to Ventimiglia, while flooding made the road from Nice to Cagnes impassable.
Rainstorms continued to rage for 72 hours, submerging parts of national highway M 3 and causing severe damage all along the Cote d'Azur.
General disaster came to a head Dec 2, when floodwater built up by the gales breached a dam in the hills above Frejus, on the French Riviera. A torrent swept down the valley of the river Reyran. An electric generating station and a warehouse at Frejus are reported to have been swept away. Low quarters of the town were under six feet of water. Latest death roll:-260.
As ambulances stood by to take victims of the Malpasset Dam burst to neighbouring Riviera towns, operation cases were flown to the French aircraft carrier 'Lafayette', anchored off St. Raphael, where naval doctors worked through the night. Thousands of troops, police and firemen are moving into the disaster zone. Search is going on for more than 200 people still unaccounted for.