Paris on alert as swollen river Seine reaches peak levels

The rain-swollen River Seine in Paris reached its highest level in three decades today, spilling its banks and prompting the Louvre museum to shut its doors and evacuate artworks in its basement.
Parisians were urged to avoid the banks of the river which was expected to reach a peak of six metres (19 feet) today, while deadly floods continued to wreak havoc elsewhere in France and Germany.
In France, a man on horseback died after he was swept away in a swollen river in Evry-Gregy-sur-Yerre, southeast of Paris, local authorities said yesterday.
And in Germany, a 65-year-old man was found dead in the flood-hit town of Simbach am Inn, bringing the total death toll in the country this week to 10.
Days of torrential rain have only added to the gloomy atmosphere in France, also facing a third full day of train strikes after months of protests and political turmoil.
French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said that she feared more bodies would be found as waters recede in French villages which have seen main streets turned into muddy rivers.
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