Paris floods: More heavy rain forecasted

The damage from flooding in France is already estimated to cost around $680 million according to France's association of insurers.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The crossbars of soccer goals stand out of the water at a sport ground in a flooded area of the town of Nemours south of Paris, on June 3, 2016.

Persistently heavy rainfall across western and central Europe shows no signs of stopping.

More heavy rain has been forecatsed for this weekend.

The death toll from heavy flooding is currently on 15.

10 people died in Germany, two each in France and Romania and one in Belgium.

In France, rescuers are using lifeboats on streets turned into rivers as they try to rescue those trapped in their homes.

In Paris, over 20,000 people have been evacuated since the weekend while 19,000 homes are without power.

French President Francois Hollande said a state of "natural catastrophe" would be declared when the cabinet meets next Wednesday, a necessary step to trigger compensation payments.

Losses across France could reach more than $680 million according to Bernard Spitz of France's association of insurers.

A police officer hangs on a military vehicle on its way through the flooded suburb of Villeneuve-Trillage in Villeneuve Saint-Georges, outside Paris, June 3, 2016 after days of almost non-stop rain caused flooding in the country.

The French government is also preparing to move its headquarters from the Élysée Palace in Paris to the Château de Vincennes, a former royal castle, which is located east of the capital.

The famed Louvre and Orsay museums have moved scores of artworks and precious artefacts as soldiers evacuated residents trapped in some of the capital's outlying suburbs as the River Seine broke its banks after rising above its highest level in 30 years.

Officials have now erected emergency flood barriers along the Seine.

Crates containing pieces of artworks from the collections of the Louvre Museum are seen near statues after the museum was closed to the public due to the rising Seine River in Paris, France, on June 3, 2016.

Parisians were urged to stay away from the Seine, which burst its banks in many places and rose more than six metres above its normal level on Friday.

Authorities say the river could swell to "6.5 metres in a worst-case scenario", which is much higher than the floods of 1982.

The Siene rose to 8.68 metres during devastating floods in 1910.

French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said she feared more bodies could be found as water levels receded in villages in central France, some of which have suffered their worst floods in a century.

Meanwhile, the environment ministry said, "This high level should likely remain relatively stable throughout the weekend before the flooding begins to recede."

The banks of Siene are normally populated with tourists at this time of the year, which is the beginning of summer.

Instead, visitors are dessed in raincoats and taking pictures of the muddy floodwaters.

American tourist Elle Yarborough said, "We were going to go the Louvre today, and we were going to go on the boat cruise for dinner tonight -- and they were both cancelled. It's too bad, but we're still happy to be in Paris."

A Chinese couple have their wedding photograph taken on the flooded banks of the Seine river in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on June 3, 2016.

A gloomy atmosphere

The downpours brought a gloomy atmosphere in the country a week before it hosts the Euro 2016 football championships.

The country is also facing protests against a labour reform.

Both the Louvre and Orsay Museum, which sees a combined 12.5 million visitors a year, closed its doors on Friday so that artworks could be moved out of the basement to higher floors.

The Orsay Museum says it will remain closed until Tuesday while the Grand Palais museum also closed on Friday, as did two of the National Library sites.

Tourists read information notices that indicate that the Louvre Museum is closed due to the rising Seine River in Paris, France, on June 3, 2016.

Usage of public boats on the Siene and a regional train line that runs along the river have both been suspended.

View of the flooded river-side of the River Seine near the Bir-Hakeim bridge in Paris, France, on June 3, 2016.

Germans deal its own flooding

Several towns in southern Germany have been devastated by flooding, and seven people have died since Wednesday.

"The (rise in) water was so quick that practically no residents had the time to run away," police spokesman Armin Angloher said.

A 72-year-old man in Triftern nearby died in hospital Friday after he was rescued from the floods.

Four people were killed earlier this week in the southern German region of Baden-Wuerttemberg, with four others still missing, police in Bavaria said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her thoughts were with the families "who have been plunged into this devastation."

The wreckage of a car stands between debris in a muddy street in the southern German town of Simbach am Inn, on June 3, 2016.

TRTWorld and agencies