Residents feared the arrival of storms after the drought and lack of rain which dried up the land and waterways. The major storms which hit the Pyrénées-Orientales late Tuesday afternoon caused significant damage.
The first report does not mention any victims. But the emergency services had to come to the aid of a man and his dog, who had fallen into the Basse, a river which passes through Perpignan. Two other people, who fell into the same stream, were able to escape by their own means.
Hail and strong gusts of wind
The Auchan hypermarket was flooded, part of the ceiling of the Perpignan sports center collapsed, rail traffic was interrupted on Tuesday, notably in Ille-sur-Têt. Strong wind gusts were recorded, up to 118 km/h in Sainte-Colombe-de-la-Commanderie. Hail, with hailstones measuring up to five centimeters in diameter, and rain fell in abundance, particularly in the Canohès areas. 111 mm of rain fell in Thuir, the equivalent of four months of rain, in a region that has lacked water for many months.
This Wednesday, several roads were still cut throughout the department, notably in Prats-de-Mollo, Saleilles, Canet-en-Roussillon and in the Pyrénées-Orientales prefecture. The damage is being assessed in the vineyards and orchards of the Roussillon plain. A sector of activity already hard hit by drought.