Four die, one missing after floods devastate southeast France

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Four people have died and another is missing after flash floods hit villages in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes departments in southeast France over the weekend, local media reported on Monday.

Citing regional authorities, state-run radio network France Info reported that the four people were confirmed dead in Var, where intense rain fell from Friday to Sunday morning, causing water levels to rise at an unprecedented rate.

A 77-year-old man was reportedly missing following the intense rainfall.

Some 1,000 rescuers, 517 police officers, and four helicopters have been deployed to carry out rescue operations in the affected areas.

Speaking to BFMTV business, Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne said that "important works" would be needed to repair severely damaged streets and roads and restore electricity networks in flood-hit zones.

"We had a very violent episode (of rainfall) this weekend. It will be more and more frequent and more and more intense," she warned.

"This will (encourage) us to be more efficient in preventing floods. Adapting to climate challenges will be a priority in 2020," she added.

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