Rescue workers wade through muddy waters searching for survivors in the town of Trebes, southern France, Monday, Oct.15, 2018. Flash floods tore through towns in southwest France, turning waterways into raging torrents that killed at least 10 people, authorities said Monday. (AP Photo/Fred Lancelot)

Southern France flood toll rises to 13; many elderly victims

October 16, 2018 - 2:10 am

PARIS (AP) — French officials say flash floods that swept through the southwest Aude region largely claimed elderly victims, who were seemingly caught off guard by the sudden torrents.

The Aude regional government and the Interior Ministry in Paris said Tuesday that the death toll from the flooding overnight Sunday to Monday had risen to 13 and that three people were still listed as missing.

The region's top local official, Alain Thirion, said on BFMTV that flood victims were mainly older people who were "surprised by the amount of rain."

Thirion said that in Trebes, the town with the most deaths, the Aude River quickly swelled from about knee-height to a destructive flood that ended up being over 6.5 meters (21 feet) deep.

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