2010 Var floods

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2010 Var floods
The location of the department of the Var within France
Date 15–16 June 2010
Location Var, France
Deaths at least 25 deaths
Property damage unknown

The 2010 Var floods were the result of heavy rainfall in southern France that caused severe floods in the department of the Var in the evening of 15 June 2010. As well as generalized flooding, there were also flash floods. Meteorologists say the floods are the worst in the region since 1827,[1] with more than 400 mm (16 in) of rain falling in less than 24 hours.[2] At least 25 people have been killed,[3] and 14 people are still missing.[4] The worst hit municipalities were Les Arcs, Figanières, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Trans-en-Provence, and the subprefecture of Draguignan.[5]


Over 1,000 people were evacuated from their houses, and 175,000 houses were left without electricity. In Draguignan, 236 inmates had to be evacuated when two floors of the prison were flooded.[6] All 440 inmates from the prison were later transferred to other prisons in Cannes, Grasse, Metz, Marseille and Nice.[7] Helicopters were used to evacuate people from the rooftops of their houses.[1] In Frejus, over 1,500 people were rescued by the use of inflatable boats or helicopters. Many tourists were trapped in campsites along the Argens river.[6] People were urged to drink bottled water as it was feared that water supplies in the area were contaminated by the floodwater.[8]

Prime Minister François Fillon announced on 18 June that a declaration of natural catastrophe would be issued "as soon as possible": it will concern the cantons of Besse-sur-Issole, Callas, Cotignac, Draguignan, Fayence, Fréjus, Lorgues, Le Luc and Le Muy.[8][9]


Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux stated that he expected the death toll to rise further.[2] President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his condolences to the victims' families and his support for the rescue teams.[6] He stated that he planned to visit the area on 21 June 2010.[2][9]

The French Red Cross launched an appeal, stating that the appeal was strictly for cash donations and not for clothing or furniture.[10]


Eleven people were killed in Draguignan, five in Trans-en-Provence, three at La Motte, two in Roquebrune-sur-Argens and Saint-Aygulf (in the commune of Fréjus) and one each in Fréjus town, the Lac de Saint-Cassien and at Le Luc.[3][8] As of 17 June 2010, 14 people were listed as missing.[8]

The floods also killed about 3000 sheep and about 100 horses, leading to problems in disposing of the carcasses, many of which had been swept into a wooded area and were trapped in trees.[9]

Transport disruption[edit]

A High Speed Train travelling between Nice and Lille was stranded by the floodwaters near Le Luc.[11] There were over 300 people on board. The railway between Toulon and Fréjus was closed.[1] Services were reinstated between Toulon and Les Arcs and also between Nice and Saint-Raphaël on 17 June 2010. A bus service replaced trains between Les Arcs and Saint-Raphaël.[8] Air travel in the region was also disrupted.[1] Toulon-Hyères Airport closed in the evening of 15 June 2010, and reopened the following morning.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Deadly flash floods hit southern France, BBC News, 16 June 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2010, retrieved 17 June 2010 .
  2. ^ a b c French flash floods death toll 'expected to rise', BBC News, 17 June 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2010, retrieved 17 June 2010 .
  3. ^ a b "Var: Le bilan des inondations s'alourdit à 25 morts", Le Monde (in French), 17 June 2010, archived from the original on 20 June 2010, retrieved 17 June 2010 
  4. ^ "Inondations: quatorze personnes disparues", Var Matin, 17 June 2010, archived from the original on 19 June 2010, retrieved 17 June 2010 .
  5. ^ "Var: villes dévastées et routes effondrées après des inondations meurtrières", Le Monde (in French), 16 June 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2010, retrieved 17 June 2010 .
  6. ^ a b c Samuel, Henry (16 June 2010). "Deadly flash floods hit southern France". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Inondations: 440 détenus évacués à Draguignan" (in French). Var-Matin. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Inondations: 25 morts, l'état de catastrophe naturelle bientôt publié" (in French). Var-Matin. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Arrêté de catastrophe naturelle pour neuf cantons du Var", Le Monde, 18 June 2010, archived from the original on 21 June 2010, retrieved 19 June 2010 .
  10. ^ "Inondations: la solidarité s'organise" (in French). Var-Matin. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Southern France hit by deadly flash floods". London: The Telegraph. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Noodweer Côte d'Azur eist twintigste leven" (in Dutch). De Telegraaf. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 

External links[edit]