Hundreds of people were rescued or evacuated in southern France as flash flooding converted roads and farmland into rivers and lakes.
There have been no reports of injuries, but the area is facing further severe rainfall on Wednesday. The rains caused severe damage to homes and infrastructure in towns and villages between Nimes and Montpellier, according to local officials.
The local authority for the Gard region tweeted Wednesday that a man believed to have been swept down the Rhony River was recovered safely after taking refuge nearby.
According to the regional emergency service, one person was struck by lightning but survived, and a supermarket roof collapsed under the weight of the pounding rain.
People who were evacuated from a campground told BFM television that they saw floodwaters rush near their tents. A total of 800 firefighters were dispatched to the scene to rescue individuals by helicopter and other means.
Schools across the region were shuttered Wednesday, as were a major highway and other highways, while cleanup efforts began in some communities.
The flooding follows a season of extreme weather that included disastrous wildfires in the French Riviera and around the Mediterranean, record-breaking flooding in Germany and Belgium, and droughts or heat waves in other parts of the globe.
According to scientists, such catastrophes are expected, but they are occurring more frequently now as the earth warms due to human-caused climate change.
According to government spokesman Gabriel Attal, the government would designate the flooding as a natural disaster to free up aid and insurance payouts. He vowed assistance to locals and anyone who had been harmed by the flood to “heal the wounds of this disaster.”