Among the worst hit areas were the villages of Conques-sur-Orbiel and Villardonnel, where waters rose as high as the first-floor windows of some houses.

A fireman walks by a damaged house at
A fireman walks by a damaged house at "Les Issambres" in Roquebrune-sur-Argens after severe rainstorms led to floods in the Var region, France on October 11, 2018. (AFP)

At least eleven people have been killed in flash floods in the southwestern Aude area of France following massive rains in the region, rescue services said on Monday.

Rescue helicopters were waiting for clearer weather before they could launch rescue operations, the prefect of Aude, Alain Thirion, told BFM TV.

TRT World's Sarah Morice reports.

Editor's note: the pictures in this story are from earlier rains in France. They were taken on Thursday, October 11.

The wreckage of a car where two victims were found on the beach of Roquebrune-sur-Argens after severe rainstorms led to floods in southern France on October 11, 2018.
The wreckage of a car where two victims were found on the beach of Roquebrune-sur-Argens after severe rainstorms led to floods in southern France on October 11, 2018. (AFP)

"We have people stranded on rooftops. We're going to have to use aircraft to evacuate them because we cannot reach them by boat given the force of the water. It's too dangerous," he s aid.

Among the worst hit areas were the villages of Conques-sur-Orbiel and Villardonnel, where waters rose as high as the first-floor windows of some houses.

A motorist drives his car on a flooded road near Saint-Tropez harbour in southern France, after severe rainstorms over the Var region led to floods on October 11, 2018.
A motorist drives his car on a flooded road near Saint-Tropez harbour in southern France, after severe rainstorms over the Var region led to floods on October 11, 2018. (AFP)

The flash floods struck without warning. At least one victim was swept away by raging waters while sleeping, Thirion said.

Water levels were expected to continue to rise in the area on Monday, with rain forecast until late in the morning. Schools in the Aude area were closed and residents were told to stay at home.

A man carries items from a flooded house of
A man carries items from a flooded house of "Les Issambres" in Roquebrune-sur-Argens after severe rainstorms led to floods in the Var region, southern France on October 11, 2018. (AFP)

Torrential rains are not uncommon in France at this time of year, but meteorologists have said that exceptionally warm sea water along the Mediterranean coast of southern France may be intensifying the rains.

The year so far is France's hottest since 1900, according to the state meteorological service.

Source: Reuters