Two dead, power cut to 4,000 homes in storm-hit south of France

Emergency crews on Sunday recovered the bodies of two people missing after major storms lashed south-eastern France.

Authorities in the department of Var, home to the French Riviera, said the first body was found in Muy, where rescue teams were searching for a woman missing after a lifeboat capsized.

The boat had been carrying three firefighters and three civilians when it flipped over. While five of the occupants reached safety, the woman could not be found.

A second body was found in a car in the town of Cabasse. It has not yet been confirmed if the body is that of a 77-year-old man who disappeared near a waterway in Saint-Antonin-du-Var.

Witnesses said the man was visibly disoriented when last seen early Saturday.

Air and rail transport across south-eastern France has been disrupted and 4,000 homes have been left without electricity as a result of the poor weather.

However red alert storm warnings in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes departments have been downgraded to orange, with authorities warning of increased flood risk.

Since Friday, nearly 1600 firefighters have responded to thousands of emergency calls.

Meanwhile two people were rushed to hospital as storms hit overnight: a 78-year-old man who was suffering hypothermia after being rescued from a mudslide in Cagnes-sur-mer, and a 39-year-old woman who was swept away by a wave in Nice.