Nine drown in sea during French storms
Nine people have drowned in choppy Mediterranean seas in the south of France, officials have said.
Officials said they were swept out to sea whilst swimming in the waters on several different beaches on the south coast.
According to a French media report, high winds stirred up the seas and caused a swell.
The victims include five people in their 60s and 70s died in Herault, two aged 58 and 71 died in Bouches-du-Thone, and another two people died on a beach in Leucate, Aude.
In Herault, emergency services tried to save 12 people drawing off beaches in five different locations. Seven were rescued and five died.
The region was put on an orange alert for thunderstorms, rains and floods.
“I cannot understand how people got into the water when the seas were rough,” Jordan Dartier, the mayor of Vias, told French broadcaster LCI.
“It’s a dramatic day for our region,” he added.
Hérault’s fire and rescue service had urged people to avoid swimming.
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