Evening Update Tuesday 6 October 2020

Searches, road clearing and supply operations are continuing this evening in the aftermath of Friday's storm. About six hundred firefighters are still involved in operations in the Vesubie and Roya valleys, backed up by a dozen helicopters. According to French firefighters, as of this afternoon, four bodies have been recovered in Saint-Martin-Vesubie, Lantosque and Colmars. Eight people are known to be missing with a further thirteen believed to be missing. The villages of Tende, Fontan and Saorge are still cut off.

If you're seeking information about loved ones who may have been affected by the storm, a special number has been set up. It's 04 93 72 22 22.

Local and national officials have held a meeting this  morning to receive an operational update on the situation in the Alpes-Maritimes from the inter-ministerial crisis center. The meeting was conducted partly in person and partly via video link. Those present included the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, the President of the Alpes Maritimes Departmental Council, Charles Ange Ginesy and Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi. President Macron is still expected to visit the Alpes Maritimes tomorrow after attending the Council of Ministers meeting in Paris.

The Route de la Tinée, the RM2205, has been re-opened to vehicles under 3.5 tonnes under certain conditions - access is from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., is under the control of law enforcement and Metropole services and on registration with your town hall of residence. Civil Protection 06 is reminding motorists that controls are taking place on routes leading to the Vésubie, Roya and Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée valleys. They are warning motorists not to block roads or impede rescue and security vehicles which have priority access. Firefighters have said that journeys to the valleys shouldn't be made except in cases of extreme necessity.

Residents of retirement homes in the Vesubie Valley have been evacuated to more secure accomodation within the Alpes Maritimes. Civil Security France were responsible for the evacuation operation.

Many collection points have been opened across the Cote d'Azur to receive donations for those affected by the floods. Non-perishable foodstuffs and hygiene products are being collected at the Palais de l'Europe in Menton from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 7pm non-stop. Four tons of food and 2 m3 of clothes have already been sent to the disaster areas. You can get more details of which goods are needed by going to https://www.menton.fr/Collecte-de-dons-tempete-Alex

A collection centre for non-perishable food and hygiene products, excluding clothes, has been opened in Antibes at the Maison de Associations, 288 chemin de St-Claude from Monday to Saturday from 12 noon to 6.30 p.m.

In Cogolin, there's a collection centre in operation until Thursday at the Centre Maurin des Maures, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

The bakers of the Alpes-Maritimes are amongst those helping with food supplies for those affected by the floods. Several thousands baguettes have been transported to affected areas by Force 06 agents for distribution to local residents.

In other news, the Prefect of Var has authorized five temporary coronavirus testing centres - 2 in Toulon, 1 in Bandol, 1 in Hyeres and 1 in Draguignan. Testing is free of charge but you'll need to wear a mask and take your carte vitale. You can find the locations and opening times at http://www.var.gouv.fr/covid-19-5-centres-de-depistages-temporaires-dans-a8757.html

French Minister of  Labour, Employment and Integration  Elisabeth Borne has said that those able to work from home should do so, as much as possible. She added that it's a matter of common sense in order to protect employees and colleagues and to reduce the use of public transport.

A large anti-drugs operation took place in Cannes this morning. Several suspected dealers and an alleged central figure were arrested and a major seizure of drugs was made.  The operation, in the La Freyere district in the west of the city, followed investigations by the drugs service of the National Police station in Cannes and was carried out under the control of the public prosecutor.

The Municipality of Ramatuelle is reminding local residents that they can subscribe to a free service to receive alerts about major risks and important municipal information. The system informs subscribers in real time by SMS or by voice message directly to their phone. The service is managed by the Municipal Police of Ramatuelle. For details of how to regsiter, see the Municipality of Ramatuelle Facebook page, which is a public page viewable even if you aren't signed up to Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Town-Hall/Commune-de-Ramatuelle-1732781670323824/



UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an ambitious plan to power all UK homes by wind power by 2030. He announced a £160m scheme to upgrade ports and factories for building wind turbines, a plan which aims to create 2,000 jobs in construction and support 60,000 other jobs.

Factory orders in Germany rose by a larger than expected amount in August. Figures published today show that orders rose by 4.5% compared to July, beating the expected 2.6%.

Two companies involved in the UK offshore oil and gas sector have announced that they are intending to merge. Premier Oil and Chrysaor produce 250,000 barrels of oil and its gas equivalent per day. The planned deal is still subject to various approvals.

The UK construction sector continued to expand in September according to a new survey of purchasing managers. The IHS Markit index recorded a figure of 56.8 in September, up from 54.6 in August. A figure over 50 indicates expansion.



Cycling... It's been confirmed that Geraint Thomas has pulled out of the Giro d'Italia because of a fractured hip. Thomas crashed yesterday but manged to complete the stage. A scan this morning indicated a hip fracture. He had been amongst the favourites to win this year's race.

Tennis... Danielle Collins is through to the French Open women's quarter-finals. She beat Ons Jabeur 6-4  4-6  6-4 in a match postponed from yesterday because of bad weather. Collins will now play Sofia Kenin tomorrow. Third seed Elina Svitolina is out of the tournament. She lost 6-2 6-4 to Ukranian Nadia Podoroska, who is ranked 131st in the world.

The Auckland Classic has been cancelled because of the pandemic. Organisers of the tournament, which was due to take place in January, said that safety had to be their priority and they were looking forward to the event's return in the following year.


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