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Sunday 18 November 2018

Hundreds evacuated around Paris amid flood alerts across France

Thirteen departments across the country are on alert for floods amid heavy rainfall.

A resident pushes a dinghy boat in a flooded street of Esbly, east of Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)
A resident pushes a dinghy boat in a flooded street of Esbly, east of Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Almost 400 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Paris region as a precaution as rivers across France kept swelling.

Thirteen departments across the country remained on alert for floods as heavy rainfall continued to batter many regions.

In addition to Paris, where the Seine river is expected to keep rising until Saturday, the other regions threatened are in the north and east of the country.

People walk on the Alma bridge by the Zouave statue which is used as a measuring instrument during floods in Paris (Christophe Ena/AP)

Seven other departments in central France have been placed on alert for snow and ice.

Meteo France said that exceptionally high levels of rain this winter were to blame for the floods, with rainfall in Paris twice as high as normal.

The Seine reached 5.53 metres (over 18ft) on Thursday evening at the Austerlitz bridge in the east of the city.

A man uses a dinghy boat to reach his barge on the river Seine in Paris (Christophe Ena/AP)

It was expected to keep rising, reaching 6.1 metres (20ft) by Saturday, as high as the June 2016 flooding when authorities were forced to close several monuments, including the Louvre Museum.

Paris police said in a statement on Thursday that 395 people have been evacuated protectively from their homes along the banks of the river in the Paris region. No major incident was observed.

Rescue workers evacuate residents in a flooded street of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, outside Paris (Thibault Camus/AP)

The Louvre Museum remains open for now but the lower level of the department of Islamic art has been closed to the public until at least Sunday.

Two years ago, the Louvre was closed for four days due to flooding and 35,000 artworks were moved to safe zones.

The banks of the River Seine are flooded in Paris (Christophe Ena/AP)

“Since then, a large number of reserve collections has been packed to ensure their rapid evacuation in the event of flooding, and staff have also been trained,” the Louvre said in a statement.

The situation was far less severe than during the 1910 Great Flood, when the Seine water level rose to 8.62 metres (more than 28ft), forcing many Parisians to evacuate their homes.

Press Association

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