Seine peaks as waterlogged Paris eyes clean-up
Taimaz SZIRNIKS, Anne LEC’HVIEN •Flooding in Paris has caused around 1,500 people to evacuate their homes Flooding in Paris has caused around 1,500 people to evacuate their homes (AFP Photo/Ludovic MARIN)Paris (AFP) – The River Seine peaked Monday at more than four metres above its normal level, heralding a lengthy mop-up job for Parisians after days of rising waters that have put the soggy city on alert.This December and January have been France’s wettest for 50 years, the national weather agency said — and the saturated ground in the Paris region means that even though the waters are now set to recede, the clean-up will be slow.Related SearchesParis Seine FloodingSeine RiverParis SeineParis RiverCity On The Seine„Lessons need to be learned from this,” said top Paris official Michel Delpuech. „We know this type of phenomenon will happen again.”Some suburbs of the capital have been turned into lakes, with residents forced to don waders and get around by canoe.The river rose to 5.85 metres (19.2 feet) early Monday, causing continued headaches for commuters as well as people living near its overflowing banks.The Vigicrues flooding agency said the river would stay at its current level throughout the day before beginning to recede Tuesday.But more rain is forecast starting Wednesday, according to environment minister Nicolas Hulot, and water levels are expected to stay high for at least another week.”Let’s not chalk up every event to climate change, but even so, these events are more frequent and more intense… so we’re going to have to adapt,” Hulot said as he toured by boat some of the flooded towns southeast of Paris on Monday.Around 1,500 people have been evacuated from their homes in the greater Paris region, according to police, while 1,900 households have lost electricity.Tourists have also suffered with the capital’s river cruise boats out of service and its pretty riverside walkways deep underwater, though plenty have come to goggle instead at the swollen Seine and snap photographs.The river did not quite reach the 2016 high of 6.1 metres, when priceless artworks had to be evacuated from the Louvre.But the world’s most visited museum was still on alert, along with the Musee d’Orsay and Orangerie galleries, with the lower level of the Louvre’s Islamic arts wing closed to visitors.- ‘Tossed but not sunk’ -The Zouave, a statue of an Algerian French army soldier from the Crimean War that has guarded the river at the Pont d’Alma bridge in central Paris since 1910, was drenched up to the thighs in the muddy waters.”Fluctuat nec mergitur (tossed but not sunk) but it’s cooold,” the Zouave statue tweeted from an account set up in its name by an anonymous admirer, using the city’s Latin motto.Police warned people against bathing or canoeing in the river, saying it was „forbidden and extremely dangerous”.Questions were turning to the potential damage to buildings and infrastructure that have been submerged since the water started rising in early January.A main commuter line, the RER C, has halted service at Paris stops until at least February 5, while some expressways alongside the Seine have also been closed.But fears of flooding like that seen in 1910, which saw the Seine rise to 8.62 metres and shut down much of Paris’s basic infrastructure, appear unfounded.- 12 areas still on alert -In the city centre, the Seine flows through a deep channel, limiting the potential flooding damage.But several areas on the outskirts were under water, including the southern suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, where some residents were getting around by boat and dozens have been evacuated from their homes.Across France, 12 departments were still on flood alert as of Monday.On the island of Migneaux to the west of Paris, „everyone is getting around by boat,” said local Serge Matikhin.”The mood is still good, we are used to it — in 20 years we are on our eighth or ninth flood,” he said.
The Seine’s waters were set to peak later on Sunday or early on Monday close to levels which led to similar flooding in 2016, authorities said.The overflowing waters have already engulfed riverside walkways in Paris and led the world-famous Louvre museum to close a basement display of Islamic art.Paris’s „Bateaux Mouches” tourist boats have been shut down due to the high waters while swans have been seen swimming where there are usually pavements and rats forced up onto the streets.Flooding caused destruction in Paris in 1910 when the Seine rose by 8.65 meters, although no deaths were recorded there.(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Pascale Antonie; Editing by Catherine Evans)
Small plane lands on 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa; no injuries reported latimes.com• Small plane lands on 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa; no injuries reportedA small plane landed along the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa on Sunday night, officials said. The occupants were out of the plane and no injuries were reported.
Climber Saved From Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’ But Negative 80-Degree Temperatures Make Rescuing Partner ImpossibleLauren Gill •Rescuers saved a French climber from a Himalayan peak known as “Killer Mountain” on Sunday but the rescue of her Polish climbing partner was made impossible after a -80 degree Fahrenheit wind chill and 50 mph wind gusts forced the team to abandon efforts. The pair, Elisabeth Revol and Tomek Mackiewicz, are believed to have reached the summit of Pakistan’s Nanga Parbat—the ninth-highest mountain in the world—before struggling to make their way down the 26,600-foot peak, the New York Times reported. If they did summit, the duo would have been just the second team to do so during the treacherous winter climbing season. On his descent, Mackiewicz is thought to have suffered from acute mountain sickness, which is caused by the lack of oxygen and lower air pressure at high altitudes, snow blindness, and frostbite.RTS1LE3C Trending: Instagram Model Jen Selter Kicked Off American Airlines Flight by PoliceRevol descended the mountain on her own and called for help from a satellite phone. She was rescued on Saturday and transported to Islamabad where she is being treated for severe frostbite on her hands and feet, her friend posted on Facebook. The same friend, Ludovic Giambiasi, said the harsh weather conditions, along with his position on the mountain, kept the rescue team from performing its mission to search for Mackiewicz.“The rescue for Tomasz is unfortunately not possible—because of the weather and altitude it would put the life of rescuers in extreme danger,” Giambiasi wrote Don’t miss: Living on Mars: New, Miniature Device Is Able to Detect Life And Sequence DNA“It’s a terrible and painful decision,” he added. “All our thoughts go out to Tomek’s family and friends. We are crying.”Most popular: Tourists Arrested for ‘Pornographic Dancing’ Could Face Year in Cambodian PrisonThe rescue team consists of private climbers, but the Pakistani military refused to arrange for a helicopter for it to use until money for the operation were secured. This is common practice for complex rescue missions in the country’s mountains, and the upfront cost is estimated to be $50,000 according to a GoFundMe page to raise money for the job. Rescuers were able to raise enough money for the mission and the military transported the team to Nanga Parbat’s base camp on Friday before being grounded due to the extreme weather conditions. They were able to reach Revol because she was further down the mountain, while Mackiewicz remained unreachable. „No rescue team, pilots telling that maximum high for them is 6000, his agonal state when Elisabeth left him. And snowstorm is coming soon,” Giambiasi wrote.„Those are the cruel facts.”The latest effort was Mackiewicz seventh attempt to climb the mountain in Pakistan’s northern reaches and his third with Revol.The peak earned its nickname, “Killer Mountain,” because of the number of people who have died while trying to scale it. It is unclear just how many climbers have perished trying to tackle the mountain, but it is estimated to be more than 60, according to the Times. In June 2017, a Spanish and Argentinian duo died in an avalanche. The first successful winter ascent of the mountain was made in February 2016.This article was first written by Newsweek