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Flooding in Europe Kills 7, Shuts Museums and Castles

  • VOA News

Residents use a canoe to evacuate in downtown Nemours, 50 miles south of Paris, June 2, 2016.

Residents use a canoe to evacuate in downtown Nemours, 50 miles south of Paris, June 2, 2016.

Torrential rain and rising rivers that continue to sweep across Europe have killed at least seven people and forced the closing of the world's most visited museum.

The River Seine surged to its highest level in more than 30 years, overflowing its banks and forcing the Louvre in Paris to close on Friday to allow the staff to move works at risk of damage to higher parts of the museum. The Orsay Museum, on the left bank of the river, also will be closed.

In Nemours, 3,000 people have been evacuated from the town center. The town's Loing River, a tributary of the Seine, has reached levels not seen since the devastating floods of 1910.

In the Loire Valley in central France, the renowned castles of Chambord and Azay-le-Rideau were closed because of flooding on their grounds.

French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and promised funding to help local authorities deal with floods that have killed two people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meanwhile, promised continued help for affected areas of southern Germany, where five people were killed in floods that swept through the southern towns of Simbach am Inn and Triftern near the Austrian border.

More downpours are forecast through the weekend across a band of central Europe from France to Ukraine, with more than 5 centimeters of rain falling in some parts in just a few hours.

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