3 Dead, Highway Collapses as Floods Pound France, Italy

ROME—Flooding pounded France and Italy amid heavy rains over the weekend, leaving at least three dead and a stretch of elevated highway collapsed by a landslide, officials said on Nov. 24. The weather has trapped travelers, downed trees, and unleashed mudslides in parts of both countries.

A 30-meter (100-foot) section of highway along a viaduct near the flooded Italian coastal city of Savona collapsed, leaving cars perched perilously on a precipice.

In an aerial video taken by firefighters, cars and a truck could be seen stopped perilously close to the point where the raised part of the A6 highway plunged into a wooded area of the Liguria region.

A man from one of the cars closest to the precipice stood outside his vehicle, holding up his arms toward other traffic to make sure drivers stopped.

Liguria Gov. Giovanni Toti said a landslide caused the collapse in a muddy, hilly area. Firefighters were using dogs to sniff out any possible victims in two-meter (6.5 feet) high debris of mud, Toti said. It wasnt known if any vehicles might have plunged off the highway, which is supported by pillars at that point.

The roadway gave way about 1.5 kilometers (a mile) outside of Savona on the highway that links that Riviera city to Turin.

The collapse was eerily reminiscent of the 2018 bridge tragedy in Genoa during a rainstorm that killed 43 people, when trucks and cars plunged into a dry riverbed below.

Elsewhere in northern Italy, a woman was found dead after the surging Bormida river swept away her car.

Flooding in Turin, a city in northwest Italy, prompted cancellation of a marathon. In France, the Nice airport was briefly closed on Nov. 23. Rivers leading from the Alps to the French Riviera broke their banks, and sirens rang out in resort towns. Images on French media showed cars peeking above inundated streets and waves slamming onto roadsides.

A rescue boat sank while bringing three people to shore near the French town of Muy, and one person died, the Var regional administration said. Another person was found dead in a car in the town of Cabasse.

French authorities are searching for two people missing in the floods, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Nov. 24.

Rain-swollen rivers and flooded streets plagued Italy, where its been raining, sometimes heavily, in much of the country nearly every day for about two weeks.

In Turin, the Po River overran its banks and flooded the medieval quarter and a popular riverside strolling area known as the Murazzi.

Some 150 people were evacuated from homes in Liguria, Italys hilly northwest coastal region. The region struggled with mudslides that blocked several roads, isolating hamlets. In Genoa, the regions principal city, the charming neighborhood of Boccadasse, a former fishing village with pastel-painted houses, was flooded after the sea rushed over retaining walls and onto the seaside road.

Venice was partially flooded, but the high tides level of nearly 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) in the late morning was not unusual for the lagoon city accustomed to the phenomenon of “acqua alta,” (high water). That level was nearly 60 centimeters (twoRead More – Source