Paris has dry run for 1/100 flood disaster - FREE

Paris has dry run for 1/100 flood disaster - FREE

Worries about a repeat of the Great Flood of Paris in 1910 has prompted the French authorities to run an exercise for the emergency services to test their responses. Operation Sequena, which runs until March 18, uses 3D animated videos to create realistic flood scenarios and highlight potential trouble spots.

A centennial flood (1/100 probability) would see Parisian landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre surrounded by water.

According to figures by the police, quoted in the French press, a flood the same size as the one in 1910 would submerge 500 square kilometres of the metropolitan region, affecting around 830,000 people living in the flood zone.

The IAU urban planning institute estimates that 435,000 homes would be exposed to flood waters, with around half of them exposed to at least one metre of water. It said that around 100,000 businesses, representing 750,000 jobs would be directly impacted.

The crisis management exercise will proceed as if the Seine was rising by 50cm daily until reaching eight metres - which was around the height of the river during the worst of the 1910 deluge. 

The flood envisaged in the scenario would cost the city between €17-20bn, according to officials quoted by the AFP news agency.

Operation Sequena will mobilise 900 emergency personnel, 150 police officers, 40 emergency vehicles and four helicopters across Paris and four neighbouring departments. The exercise will also involve 87 public and private institutions, including the network of Paris hospitals, the national SNCF rail network, the EDF energy firm, as well as telecommunications and waste disposal companies.

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