Flash Floods in the Southern Alps and Algeria 2000 and 2001

In November 2001 parts of Algeria in North Africa received heavy rainfall over a period of two days that led to the worst flooding and mudslides in the capital city, Algiers, in more than 40 years. An estimated

1,000 died in Algiers, being buried by fast-moving mudflows that swept out of the Atlas Mountains to the south and moved through the city, hitting some of the poorest neighborhoods with the worst flooding. The Bab El Oued District, one of the poorest in Algiers, was hit the worst, where 600 people were buried under mud flows several feet (1 m) thick.

These floods followed similar heavy rains and mudslides that devastated parts of southern Europe in October 2000. Northern Italy and Switzerland were among the worst hit, where water levels reached their highest in 30 years, killing about 50 people. In Switzerland the southern mountain village of Gondo was devastated when a 120-foot (37-m) wide mud-flow ripped through the town center, removing 10 homes (one-third of the village) and killing 13 people. Numerous roads, bridges, and railroads were washed away throughout the region, stretching from southern France, through Switzerland and Italy, to the Adriatic Sea. Crops were destroyed on a massive scale. Tens of thousands of people had to be evacuated from the region, and total damage estimates are in the range of many billions of dollars.

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