Six dead after floods hit southern France

People stand on the road by a bridge over the Trapel river that collapsed Villegailhenc in the Aude department hit by flash floods

People stand on the road by a bridge over the Trapel river that collapsed Villegailhenc in the Aude department hit by flash floods

Authorities said many people were stranded on rooftops and would have to be evacuated by air because it was too risky by boat.

A firefighter helps a youngster reach safety in a flooded street during a rescue operation following heavy rains that saw rivers bursting their banks in Trebes, near Carcassone, in southern France. Three more fatalities were reported in the neighboring villages of Villalier and one in Villegailhenc.

The River Aude that flows through towns such as Carcassonne and Trebes was among the waterways that overflowed from the exceptional rainfall, and the flooding was the region's worst in more than a century, the French agency that monitors flood risks said.

"I am keeping myself informed of the situation hour by hour".

She posted video of the ripped-up road where the bridge used to be, with the town now cut in half.

A security helicopter lifts a resident during rescue operation following heavy rains that saw rivers bursting banks in Trebes, near Carcassone, southern France, on October 15, 2018.

Flash floods have killed at least 13 people in southwest France, according to multiple local news outlets.

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'There's nothing left, there's just a hole, ' she told The Associated Press in a phone interview. Two people were killed in the town, according to the Aude regional government. "It was very violent".

In the villages north of Carcassonne, roads were cut off, schools closed and people were asked to stay at home. 'She thought she was safe behind locked doors and windows, but the water burst in'. "Impossible. I am trying hard and then the water rose up to my belly", the resident, who was identified only as Jean-Marc, told the broadcaster. "I was terribly afraid".

Footage on television showed churning, muddy rivers that had uprooted trees, knocked over concrete power pylons and tore up roads in the southern region of Aude, near the medieval hilltop city of Carcassonne.

"Floodwaters were in some cases too powerful for the emergency services to get through, even on boats", France 24 reports, citing Thirion.

French President Emmanuel Macron has extended the "solidarity" of the French nation to residents of the southwestern region struck by flash flooding and to the families of people who died in the disaster.

The floods are the worst the region has seen in more than one hundred years, weather monitoring service Vigicrues said.

The official also said that an anticipated reshuffling of government ministers would not be announced on Monday since the government was focused on the flooding.

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