Paris floods ease

2016-06-05 13:34
A boy fishes in the Seine River in Paris.(Thibault Camus, AP)

A boy fishes in the Seine River in Paris.(Thibault Camus, AP)

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Paris - The rain-swollen River Seine in Paris receded after reaching its highest level in three decades as attention on Sunday turned to other areas of France where alert warnings have been issued.

From a peak of 6.10m in the early hours of Saturday, the river began to subside, falling to 5.77m on Sunday morning, the environment ministry's Vigicrues flood watch website said.

Next level

However, red alerts had been issued for the Seine-Maritime and Eure departments in the northern Normandy region but were lifted early on Sunday and they passed on to the next level of orange.

Alerts have also been issued in 15 other regions, including Ile-de-France, where Paris is located, Lorraine in the northeast as well as parts of the country's central areas. Meteo France has forecast showers on Sunday across much of the country.

The authorities in Seine-Maritime said there had "been no significant damage so far".

Traffic has been prohibited in some areas of Normandy and although the Seine had risen in the northern city of Rouen, it did not break its banks.

"It's like this when there are strong tides," said a port official.

Across Europe, at least 18 people have been killed in floods that trapped people in their homes, felled trees and power lines, cut off roads and rail lines and forced rescuers to navigate swamped streets in lifeboats.

In Paris, the Louvre and Orsay museums, which sit on opposite banks of the Seine, were closed for a third day on Sunday, after shutting their doors in a race to move art treasures out of basements to higher ground as a precautionary measure.

They are only due to reopen on Tuesday.

Boat traffic

Although city authorities warned people not to venture near dangerous parts of the river, crowds gathered on bridges to snap pictures of the dramatic sight.

Two metro stations remained closed and services on a train line that hugs the Seine was still suspended in places. Boat traffic was also suspended.

More than 20 000 people have been evacuated over the past week from the Loire Valley and the greater Paris area.

The health ministry said nearly 500 patients from a dozen hospitals and 800 care home residents had also been moved.

Read more on:    france  |  weather

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