CÔTE D'AZUR & PROVENCE
Storm Alex, which originated in the Atlantic, swept through the Côte d'Azur on 2 October, leaving a rash of devasted mountain towns. The region was well-warned with Red alerts closing schools and businesses, however, nothing could have prepared the towns along the rivers for the raging torrents that washed away entire buildings and homes.
These types of destructive storms have become more frequent in recent years. There is no doubt that climate change is the main cause. Meteorologists warn that it will only get worse in the future. On Wednesday, President Macron will visit the disaster area in the Nice countryside.
Why did Friday’s storm - one of the “épisodes méditerranéens” well-known on the Côte d'Azur - develop so dramatically? Unbelievable amounts of water fell in the north-east of the Alpes-Maritimes department (and in parts of neighbouring Piedmont and Liguria) in a very short time. In one of the worst-affected areas, Saint-Martin-Vésubie, 500 millimetres of rain were measured within ten hours. This corresponds to the average rainfall of three and a half months. The amount could be described as "tropical", said a meteorologist.
In the alpine inland of Nice, with elevations up to 3,000 metres high, innumerable streams flow into the deep valleys with the rivers Vésubie, Tinée and Roya the most affected. On their way down, they are continuously swelling at breakneck speed, and by the time they reach the valley the current is so strong, it can carry away whatever is in the way. Friday’s storm caused landslides and mudslides, taking out houses, bridges, roads, cars - nothing could withstand the power of the water. Seven people have been confirmed dead and several more are missing.
The weather phenomenon
Rising air temperatures cause more and more water to evaporate, which in turn provokes more frequent and stronger thunderstorms. A vicious circle of destructive intensity will increase in the future, especially in the northern Mediterranean, warns a meteorologist from Météo France. "Global warming is largely responsible for this type of phenomenon", he told the television channel France 2.
Leisure activities are forbidden in the mountains and forests
Up to and including Sunday 11 October, the Prefect of Alpes-Maritimes has called for solidarity and has banned all leisure activities in the mountains and forests (massifs forestiers) of the department. The background to this is that the specialised rescue services (PGHM, CRS Haute-Montagne, GRIMP) are working under high pressure to help the population after the storm. Their emergency operations there have top priority and they cannot be mobilised for additional missions.
Help for companies
The Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) is helping companies damaged by storm Alex. Some of them, such as the Brasserie du Comté brewery in Saint-Martin-Vésubie, have lost everything. Those affected can call or e-mail the following number to report their losses, the number of jobs affected and their most urgent needs.
Companies should receive a kit as soon as possible with all the important information and tips on the administrative steps to be taken urgently as well as useful numbers.
Tel. 04 93 13 75 73
How can you help?
Numerous aid campaigns by towns, associations and private individuals are underway. In order to coordinate the aid, the Prefecture of Alpes-Maritimes has set up the following e-mail address to which offers of help can be sent (both material and labour)
For those who wish to make donations, a list compiled by the Prefecture is available here of the things that are most urgently needed:
- Sundries: soaps, shampoos, sanitary protection, tampons
- Bottles, nappies, wipes
- Canned and other preserved food, baby food, biscuits
- Blankets, sheets, towels
- Gas cylinders, propane and butane gas (13 kg)
- Dog and cat food etc.
*LABELLING is appreciated on the bags, by category, gender and size
A thorough listing of donation centres has been listed by #EsterelCotedAzur supports its neighbours and friends in the Alpes-Maritimes hard hit by the bad weather You can if you wish to make donations via:
- You will be able to drop off your donations from 8.30am to 6pm in the Salle des Mariages. Clothes, shoes, household linen, non-perishable food, hygiene products, small household appliances, household products, toys...
- The Ecovie room is available from 2pm to 8.30pm to deposit your donations.
- From Monday 5th October from 8.30am in front of the Leclerc, collection of non-perishable food as well as clothes and blankets.
- Meet at the station of L'Escarène from 9h to 12h and 14h to 18h to deposit your donations.
- 58 Route de l'Iera in the village you can bring blankets, warm clothes, non-perishable food, hygiene, batteries, lamps.
- Opening on Monday 9am of the Salle Olympie (av. des Anciens Combattants) to collect donations in kind (equipment, clothes, non-perishable food, water pack...).
- On Monday, ballot boxes will be set up in the town hall/additional town halls to collect your financial donations.
- A collection point has been set up by the town hall at the Palais de l'Europe, 8 avenue Boyer, from 9am to 12pm and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, for those who wish to help the people of La Roya by bringing food (only non-perishable foodstuffs that do not require cooking).
- Aide Humanitarian Fire Brigade: 06 03 20 75 54
- In the Côte d'Azur capital, the town hall organises donation deposits at the Palais Nikaïa from 8.30am to 7pm, every day from Sunday for donations in kind and donations by cheque and tomorrow for cash donations.
- AnimaNice centres 8.30am to 7pm from Monday at the following addresses:
- 19 chemin du Château Saint-Pierre - 06300 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Bon Voyage, 2 pont René Coty - 06300 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Caucade 111 ave Sainte-Marguerite - 06200 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Cimiez Place Emile Begnis 49 avenue de la Marne - 06000 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Costanzo, 13 rue Georges Ville - 06300 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Fabron 235 ave de la Lanterne - 06200 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Gorbella, 63 bd Gorbella - 06100 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice La Costière, 178 chemin de la Costière - 06000 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice La Madeleine, 280 bd de la Madeleine - 06200 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice La Vallière 46 rue Auguste Pégurier - 06200 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Las Planas 1 rue Fabre - 06100 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Pasteur Camille Claudel, 4 rue Maurice Maccario - 06300 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Saint-Antoine, 10-12 Place Dominique Fighiera - 06200 NICE
- Centre d'animation et des loisirs Saint-Pancrace, 465 route de Pessicart - 06100 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Sainte-Marguerite 71 avenue Sainte-Marguerite - 06200 NICE
- Centre AnimaNice Saint-Isidore, 136 boulevard des Jardiniers - 06200 NICE
- Restaurant Le Félix Nice
- Association Port Avenir via la Boucherie du Port 2 rue Cassini
- 06 46 74 79 64
- Secours Populaire, 30 rue Bonaparte
- Décathlon Lingostière collects camping equipment, camp beds, warm duvets, lamps, showers, jerrycans, warm down jackets...
- Association Nissart Per Tougiou at 14 avenue du Trident, 06300 Nice recovers Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday from 5pm to 8pm and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 8pm and more: torches, candles, batteries, stove, bottles of water, food, but remember that without water and electricity it is not possible to cook pasta or rice.
- Secours Populaire, 30 rue Bonaparte, Nice
- Vivalgo association at 12 avenue de l'hôpital in Vallauris takes sheets, towels, blankets and duvets.
- Club du soleil Square Nabonnand in Golfe-Juan Monday and Friday from 2pm to 5pm Saturday afternoon: 9am-12pm/ 2pm-5pm: 06 74 28 54 13
- Donations can be deposited at the Municipal Technical Centre, 1440 Chemin de la Sine, in the Festivals / Logistics workshop from Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 8 pm.
If you too would like to lend a hand and help find missing persons: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348662413045658/?
An online collection in aid of the Red Cross is also open to those who wish to make donations: https://www.leetchi.com/c/solidarite-intemperies-nice-matin