Four departments of the South-East, Gard, Hérault, Drôme and Ardèche, were placed on Saturday in orange vigilance by Météo-France for thunderstorms and floods, an “intense” rainstorm episode being expected from 10 p.m. and until Sunday noon.
The Gard and the Hérault are placed in orange vigilance “rain-flood” while the Drôme and the Ardèche are concerned by a risk of “thunderstorms”, according to Météo-France.
“The first storm cells quickly circulated on the Hérault and the Gard, giving the passage between 20 and 30 mm” of precipitation, underlined the last bulletin of the meteorological institute on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
“From the first part of the night, the situation will become more and more stormy from Languedoc to the Rhone valley”, anticipates Météo-France, but “it is especially on the second part of the night that the most violent thunderstorms will be observed “, with accumulations of precipitation reaching from 70 to 100 mm” in less than 3 hours “in the departments concerned.
There is “a strong uncertainty on the location and intensity of the most violent storms”, specifies Météo-France.
These storms could “cause significant damage locally” and “lives and property can be locally endangered”, he warns, warning that “heavy rainfall” is “likely to affect human activities”, “some disruptions “which may in particular affect rail transport.
To cope with the expected heavy rainfall, the Hérault firefighters announced on the Signal social network that they would mobilize “aquatic risk specialists” and strengthen their rescue centers for the night.
The city of Montpellier for its part postponed all the events scheduled for Sunday, in order “not to put the population at risk”.
Friday, the Prefect of Hérault warned on Twitter that swimming would be “very dangerous” on Saturday on the coast, due to a strong swell expected, with waves of 2 meters. The same alert was launched on Saturday by the prefects of Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales, still on Twitter.
About ten days ago, violent thunderstorms and record rains had affected the Gard department, which had even been briefly placed in red vigilance, again for risk of thunderstorms and flooding. On that day, nine people were killed, victims of the swell, while wanting to swim despite the waves, two in the Aude, five in the Hérault and two in the Bouches-du-Rhône.