1,500 evacuated in Paris, surrounding zones as Seine river keeps rising

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The Seine river, which runs through Paris, kept rising on Sunday and had led to the evacuation of about 1,500 people in Ile-de-France region including the French capital and surrounding zones, according to Paris police.

Water level remained at a high level in the Paris region where 240 communes remained on alert of flooding. About 1,500 citizens were called to leave their homes, said Michel Delpuech, chief of the Paris police body.

“The waters will only go away slowly,” Delpuech told reporters, stressing that “everyone knows what he must do.”

At 15:00 local time (1400 GMT), the Seine rose to 5.81 meters. It could peak at six later on Sunday or early on Monday.

“A maximum level , slightly lower than that reached during the flood of June 2016, is expected,” governemnt-run agency vigicrues predicetd.

In 2016, torrential rains had triggered heavy flooding, plunging parts of France’s central regions and Paris’ vibrant venues into chaos where the Seine rose to 6.1 meters. Six people had been reported dead due to floods.

A non-stop rainfall caused flooding notably in the Paris region where high water level submerged the river’s walkways and forced the Louvre Mesuem to close the lower level of the Department of Islamic Art to the public till Jan. 29.

The rail operator SNCF also closed the RER C commuter line that runs along the river and is used by tourists to reach the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Versailles.

French weather agency Meteo France placed eight districts on orange alert till Monday afternoon due to persistent high flooding risks.

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