France declares flood emergency

2016-06-03 20:26
The roof of a car parked in a marked no parking zone sticks out of the water on the flooded banks of the Seine River near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Jerome Delay, AP)

The roof of a car parked in a marked no parking zone sticks out of the water on the flooded banks of the Seine River near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Jerome Delay, AP)

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Paris - French President Francois Hollande has declared a natural disaster after the River Seine in Paris burst its banks in some places displacing thousands of people. 

He made the announcement on Friday, saying compensation would be paid to those affected by the worst flooding to hit the French capital in 35 years. 

"When there are climate phenomena of such seriousness, we must all be conscious that it's on a world scale and that we must act," Hollande said. 

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has ordered some parks to shut down, and gymnasiums to open to homeless people amid the flooding, which city authorities said could take weeks to recede.

The French interior ministry said 20 000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

At least 20 000 homes in the south of Paris have lost power. 

"Authorities are bracing for a couple of more weeks of possible flooding. There's a lot a panic in Paris," Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall reported from the city. 

French environment officials said the Seine will reach its maximum level late on Friday as rainfall across the country begins to taper off.

The flooding has also forced many museums in the French capital, including the Louvre, to shut down, as a protective measure. 


Read more on:    france  |  weather  |  floods

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