Paris on alert as Seine flood waters continue to rise
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The flooded River Seine in Paris rose six metres above its normal level on Friday and is set to peak overnight, officials said, with floodwaters already wreaking havoc in the capital and central France.
Here are the day’s main developments:
- The River Seine continued to rise on Friday after bursting its banks in several places earlier this week, forcing officials in Paris to erect emergency barriers and close metro stations and museums.
- Officials said Friday afternoon that the Seine had risen 6 metres above its normal level and could peak as high as 6.50 metres overnight - well above the 6.18 metres recorded in 1982 - before slowly receding early next week.
- The Louvre and Orsay museums, both on the banks of the Seine, have closed in order to move priceless artworks to safety, and will remain shut until Tuesday. The Grand Palais museum and the National Library were also closed on Friday.
- The flooding has disrupted transport in the capital, with several train stations close to the Seine and a regional train line that runs along the river remaining shut. Boat traffic has also been banned.
- Officials said further evacuations may take place in towns to the west of the French capital as the waters surge downstream.
- Two people have been killed since the start of the floods, which have seen more than 20,000 people evacuated from their homes in towns near Paris and in central France. The cost for insurance companies has been estimated at 600 million euros.
- Environment Minister Ségolène Royal said she feared more casualties as waters receded in villages in central France, some of which have suffered their worst floods in a century.
For all the latest on floods in France see France 24’s live blog below. Click here to view the live blog on your smartphone or tablet.