Two children, aged 4 and 13, who disappeared in the Gard during the passage of storm Monica last weekend are still being sought this Tuesday, March 12. With the drop in river levels, research is becoming more refined.

The two children, aged 4 and 13, who disappeared during the passage of storm Monica last Sunday remain untraceable. The search to try to find them resumed for the third day this Tuesday, March 12, around 8 a.m., after stopping operations overnight. The search is taking place along the Gardon downstream from Dions, a village of 500 inhabitants north of Nîmes near where the car sheltering the children was swept away by the waters.

The father of the children had also disappeared at the same time, but his description seems to correspond to the body of a man found dead on Monday March 11. A formal identification is still awaited. “The vehicle of the missing was found downstream of the submersible bridge yesterday”, further indicated the prefect of Gard sur X, thus suggesting the worst as to the fate of the two children.

If no trace of the children has yet been found, the search is more likely to be successful this Tuesday according to the spokesperson for the Gard firefighters, Michel Cherbetian, contacted by AFP. The man explained that the water level fell again this Tuesday, returning the Gardon to a usual level and allowing “refined searches”, particularly in areas which remained inaccessible or submerged yesterday. During floods, missing people can be carried by rivers several tens of kilometers and be found further away, the firefighter said. However, the man did not rule out the possibility of not finding the two children.

The search continues, but after two full days of searches carried out in difficult conditions the chances of finding the children alive are diminishing. Due to the areas already covered and the concentration of searches in places not yet inspected or which are only becoming accessible again, the number of firefighters mobilized has been reduced. There are 50 of them carrying out the search this Tuesday, including 25 water rescuers, while there were “110 firefighters and 120 police officers still engaged in the search” the day before. The teams on site are accompanied by “questing” dogs capable of finding people without having a reference scent as well as three drones.

If the death of the father of the family must be confirmed by the identification of the body found and the children are still sought, the mother of the family is alive. The whole family took refuge on the roof of the car before the vehicle was submerged, but only the mother managed to take refuge in a tree to avoid being swept away by the waters.

The mother of the missing 41-year-old man, distraught, explained to Le Parisien that she hosted the family for dinner on Saturday: “When they left, around 11 p.m., it was raining hard, but there was nothing alarming either. It was my daughter-in-law who took the wheel, she doesn’t drink a drop of alcohol and is never reckless.”