Firefighters rushed to rescue residents in France today when homes soaked in three weeks of rain in just 12 hours, causing landslides and swollen rivers.
Heavy rains lashed out over much of southwest France and northern Spain overnight, resulting in the evacuation of dozens of residents and rivers overflowing their banks. One person was reported dead in Spain.
Warm south winds, which have melted snow banks in the Pyrenees in recent days, also contributed to the flooding, which could last for several days.
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Pictured: Bayonne, southwest France, where cars were flooded by water in flooded streets on December 10, 2021. The flooding comes after heavy overnight rains devastated much of southwest France, resulting in the evacuation of dozens of residents and rivers who overflowed their banks
Pictured: Pedestrians look out over the flooded streets of Bayonne in southwest France on December 10, 2021
Flooding in Bayonne, France. The River Nive reached 6.15 m, a record according to local reports
The Ebro surrounds the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain, December 10, 2021. Warnings have been issued due to the possibility of the river overflowing after heavy rains in the region
Several regions have an “orange” warning in effect until at least Sunday, with local media reporting that one region – Pyrénées-Atlantiques – rained nearly five inches of rain at 4am on Friday.
“Despite one injured person, we have no serious accidents or deaths. Fire fighters have answered more than 250 calls in the last few hours,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told journalists after speaking to local officials.
The weather agency Meteo France also warned of a high risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees, which separate France from Spain, where local floods have also been reported.
Warm south winds, which have melted snow banks in the Pyrenees in recent days, also contributed to the flooding, which could last for several days. Pictured: A man walks through the flooded streets of Bayonne in southwest France on Friday
Workers in a restaurant look out over the flooded streets of Bayonne, south-west France, on December 10, 2021
This photo taken on December 10, 2021 shows flooded streets in Bayonne, in southwest France
Pictured: Cars are flooded in Bayonne, southwest France, after heavy rain and flooding
The regional government in Spain’s Navarre region said a woman died in her car on Friday after a landslide that followed two weeks of heavy rains.
Pictures from the Spanish city of Saragossa showed the banks of the Ebro, which flows through the center and past a cathedral, shortly before the burst.
According to Euro Weekly News, a man was killed in the town of Sunbilla in Spain when the roof of a shed fell on his vehicle.
Eric Spitz, the French government’s top official for the Aquitaine region, which also includes Bordeaux, said the situation was “under control”, but predictions of further rainfall could lead to further increases in flooding in several cities.
In the coastal town of Bayonne, speakers warned crowds who were gathering on the banks of the Nive to photograph the torrents.
Rescue workers walk on a flooded street after heavy rainfall in Pamplona, Spain, December 10, 2021
A woman is helped by a firefighter while she is walking in a flooded area near the Arga River near Huarte-Pamplona near Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday December 10, 2021
A flooded area after heavy rains in Pamplona, Spain, December 10, 2021. The Arga River overflowed after heavy rains at the beginning of Friday
A road with a traffic light covered with flooding near the Arga River in Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday December 10th
A flooded area in the neighborhood of Behobia after the Bidasoa river overflowed due to heavy rains in Irun, Spain, 10 December 2021
Firefighters use a rubber dinghy to inspect the flooded streets in Pamplona, where the Arga River overflowed due to heavy rainfall in the early hours of the morning in Pamplona, Spain, 10 December 2021
Authorities canceled a Friday night rugby game in Bayonne between Aviron Bayonnais and US Montauban, and Mayor Jean-Rene Etchegaray also called for shops along the River Nive to close.
Classes have been canceled at several schools and some roads have been closed, while train traffic has been disrupted and power outages have been reported in hundreds of homes across the region.
Further inland, the flood caused a landslide in the Pyrenean village of Itxassou that caused a resident, a 37-year-old who gave his name to Jean-Claude, to say his house had been flooded in 16 inches of water – for the second time in seven years.
“In 2014 they said it was a flood of the century and now it’s happening again,” he told AFP.