Europe floods: Paris on alert as Seine swells

Paris: The rain-swollen River Seine in Paris reached its highest level in three decades yesterday, spilling its banks and prompting the Louvre museum to shut its doors and evacuate artworks in its basement.

A part of the Eiffel tower and a subway crossing a bridge over the river Seine after its banks became flooded following heavy rainfalls. Pic/AFP
A part of the Eiffel tower and a subway crossing a bridge over the river Seine after its banks became flooded following heavy rainfalls. Pic/AFP

Parisians were urged to avoid the banks of the river, which was expected to reach a peak of six metres (19 feet) yesterday, while deadly floods continued to wreak havoc elsewhere in France and Germany.

Officials were erecting emergency flood barriers along the Seine and a suburban train line running alongside the river was closed. The riverbanks are home to both the Louvre – the world’s most visited museum – and the Musee d’Orsay, which was alsopreparing for the worst. The Musee d’Orsay closed early Thursday and was to move its most vulnerable works to upper floors.

While the river’s swelling has so far caused little damage in Paris and is unlikely to submerge the city centre, public information boards urged those living near the Seine to clear out their basements.

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