At least eight people were killed in southern France on Tuesday (16 October) when a freak wave hit the Riviera coast.
GV AND PAN Coastal strip of Cote D'Azur
GV Life boat
GV AND PAN Of swamped coastal area with officials inspecting the damage ( 3 shots)
Harbour at Nice with damaged yachts and blown-down tree trunks on pier
GV Debris ??? with damaged and ??? cars and boat ??? (5 shots)
SV Damaged shop windows PULL BACK AND PAN shops flooded out (2 shots)
SV Upturned boat on dry land. Rescue van patrolling area around dockland, damaged yachts. (6 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO GV Food kiosk still standing, surrounded by debris
SV PULL BACK TO GV Upturned rowboats drifting along shoreline
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At least eight people were killed in southern France on Tuesday (16 October) when a freak wave hit the Riviera coast.
SYNOPSIS: The area affected by the wave stretched from Menton near the Italian boarder to Antibes. Eye witnesses in Nice said the sea pulled back about three hundred metres (yards), dropping about one metre (yard) below its normal level before surging back onto the shore in a gigantic wave. Cars ??? coastal roads were ???, pleasure boats were ??? against the harbour ??? many vessels were swept ??? to sea. The wave struck in the early afternoon just as a sudden downpour hit the Riviera.
Most of the victims of the wave were workmen building an extension to Nice airport. The wall of water crumbled part of the dyke they were constructing and nine workers were swept away. Two men were rescued and the bodies of five of the workers were later recovered. Two men are still missing. In Antibes, west of Nice, and elderly woman was killed by the wave, which cracked the town's main quay.
Scientists were puzzled by the wave since the Mediterranean normally has only slight tidal movements. Coast guards said one possible explanation was a submarine landslide and meteorologists suggested that unusually high rainfall could have caused the wave. More rain fell in the two days before the freak wave than normally falls in an entire year on southern France. Since the wave dislodged at least fifteen million cubic metres of water along fifty kilometre stretch of coast, scientists estimate that the wall of water had one hundred times the force of the huge Amazon river in Southern America.