Gard department : six people, including two children, reported missing

The cars in which they were travelling were swept away by the floods. Twelve departments have been placed on orange alert.

After several months of drought, torrents of water have been pouring down on the Mediterranean region since Friday March 8, 2024. The Monica low-pressure system and the well-known Cevennes phenomena are to blame. The consequences: small streams quickly become torrents, rivers overflow their banks and the sea backs up the water from rivers. Flooded roads quickly became extremely dangerous.

Cars washed away

The human toll was particularly high on Sunday morning, March 10, 2024. The Gard prefecture announced that six people were missing. In Dions, north of Nîmes, a family car was swept away by the waters of the Gardon at around 3:30 am. Although the mother was rescued by the fire department, the father and his two children, aged 4 and 13, are still being sought.
The previous day, Saturday March 9, at around 7:30 p.m., a vehicle attempted to cross a submersible bridge in the village of Gagnières, in the north of the Gard département, before being swept away by the waters. There were two men on board, one of whom managed to get out of the car, while the other was still being sought on Sunday morning.
Finally, two Belgian women, aged 47 and 57, on their way to Spain, disappeared at around 5 a.m. in Goudargues, also in the Gard department.

Ten departments under orange alert

According to the Gard prefecture, a total of 250 firefighters were mobilized on Saturday night, along with four Gendarmerie helicopters.
Caution is still called for in the face of this bad weather. Ten departments are now under orange flood alert, including Ardèche, Gard, Lozère and Var. But also in the South-West.
Wind and rain have caused major damage across the region, with 1,800 homes without power in the Drôme and Ardèche. Wind gusts were recorded at 134 km/hour in Ardèche.
The situation is therefore very delicate in these departments. Caution is advised on the roads.