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Authorities in southwest France say at least five people have been killed in violent storms and floods that saw the equivalent of several months of rainfall in the space of hours.
Alain Thirion, the prefect of the Aude region, gave the death toll in a phone interview with 24-hour news channel BFMTV.
He said some of the dead appeared to have been swept away by floodwaters.
He said one river rose by more than six meters (20 feet) and that floodwaters were in some cases too powerful for the emergency services to get through.