More than 20 people are thought to have been killed by the floods, caused by torrential rain since the start of this week, and the total is likely to rise as emergency services look through vast amounts of debris.

Almost 1000 policemen and around 200 departmental officials of the National Police are in the area looking for survivors and helping the estimated 2,000 people who are temporarily homeless.

While another 100,000 people in the region have no electricity as French utilities face a huge task to restore power supplies.

The floods, which some have claimed are due to over development in the picturesque Cote D’Azur region, have eased this morning (June 17) but more rain is forecast.

French minister of the interior, Brice Hortefeux, visiting the Var area last night said he was decarling a state of national disaster following the floods.

He said: “The torrential rains that hit here over the past three days represent the most severe weather the region has known for 30 years.”

Luke Walsh

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