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Floods kill at least five in southern France

 
 
 
 
 
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At least five people have died after storms turned a peaceful river into a raging torrent that swept through a campground in southern France.

The campsite located at Lamalou-les-Bains was devastated by floods while thick mud and fallen trees covered the roads in the area, rescue workers said on Thursday.

Cars and other vehicles were found bottom-up as firemen and local residents pumped water out of nearby houses, authorities added.

Eyewitnesses reported powerful waves of more than two meters high during the overnight storm.

Four victims are believed to have been washed away from the campsite while a fifth person died after falling into a swollen river, officials confirmed.

France’s meteorological center warned the area was still under orange alert – one notch under the maximum red alert.

Authorities said storms are expected to pick up again Thursday afternoon and will continue for another 48 hours in the region.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has announced that he will pay a visit to Lamalou-les-Bains later in the day.

The incident marks the latest in a series of natural disasters having hit France recently.

In February, severe winter storms made tens of thousands of households struggle with several weeks of flooding as well as power outages in northern and western France.

Meanwhile, a powerful storm with hurricane-force winds grounded flights and cut off power supply to tens of thousands of homes in southern France in December.

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