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Alex- 2 Died and 25 Missing in Floods in France and Italy; 3 Flood Alerts Remains across Manchester

A bridge collapse during storm Alex due to flooding in Saint-Martin in the Alpes-Maritimes area of Southern France

 Three flood alerts remain in place in Greater Manchester on Sunday morning.

At least two people have died and 25 are missing after a powerful storm named Alex, hit southern France and north-western Italy. One of the victims in Italy was a firefighter in the Aosta Valley, while the other was a man in his 30s whose car was swept into a river in the Piedmont region.

Another 17 people are said to be missing in the country's north-west after heavy rains hit overnight; among them is a group of at least four German trekkers who did not return from a trip in the mountains, officials said.

In France, eight people are said to be missing.

 A yellow weather warning remains in place until 12pm on Sunday in the regions of, Middle River Mersey catchment including areas near Bramhall, Stockport, Sale, Altrincham and Urmston, River Bollin catchment including Knutsford, Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Bollington, covering parts of southern Greater Manchester, Upper River Douglas, covering parts of Wigan.

Flood alerts are also in place in the Warrington and St Helens area, to the west of Greater Manchester.

Alex made a number of destructions as the roads and bridges broke down and swept away by massive water in Northern Italy while at the same time, villages suffered serious damage around the southern city of Nice. Its mayor described it as the worst flooding in living memory.

Winds of more than 180km/h (112mph) were recorded in Brittany on Thursday and Friday.

In France, Nice and its surrounding areas were the hardest hit overnight as 500mm (20ins) of rain was recorded over 12 hours in some areas, according to Meteo France.

Beaches in Nice and other coastal cities were closed, and people were asked to stay at home, the AFP news agency reports.

In Piedmont, several villages were cut off after the rains made roads impassable. The situation there was described as "extremely critical" by officials.

The storm also affected the north-western regions of Lombardy and Liguria.

The city of Venice, which had been braced for high waters after suffering violent storms in August, was successfully protected by a flood barrier system recently declared fully operational.

Meteorological agency Météo-France said 450mm (17.7in) worth of rain fell in some areas over 24 hours - the equivalent of nearly four months of rain at this time of year, reports Reuters news agency.

The Alpes-Maritimes department was placed on red alert on Friday, but the alert level has now been downgraded to orange as the storm moves towards Italy.

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