French and Riviera News Monday October 5th 2020

Killer floods-At least two people are known to have died and 18 are still missing following Storm Alex which hit the region on Friday.

Mountain areas in the Vesubie Valley have been the worst affected with roads and bridges down and houses washed away by flood water.

The Vesubie river rose to 6 meters above normal as torrents of flood water and mud swept away infrastructure including houses ,bridges and roads. Several large landslides have also occurred cutting off villages in both the Tinee and Var valleys.

More than 1,000 firefighters and other emergency workers are on the ground today as the search for those missing continues and efforts are made to reach stranded villagers.

The French Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the region over the weekend and expressed his “deep concern” over the situation.

President Macron has also expressed his concern and has sent a message of support in which he said that “everything possible will be done to restore services and carry out urgent repairs to damaged infrastructure”.

The region has been declared a natural disaster area with the insurance bill set to run into hundreds of millions of euros.


Parc Alpha-The Parc Alpha wolf sanctuary has been completely destroyed by flood waters and the whereabouts of the animals is not known.

Ariel photography of the area has shown complete devastation and the body of one of the wolves from the Parc.

13 animals were being housed in the Parc at the time the flood struck.


Schools closed-Many schools inland will be closed today as a result of the shocking weather.

Hundreds of children will not be able to attend classes for the foreseeable future with many school buildings damaged by flood water.

The local education authority is unable to say when schools will be able to resume classes.


Solidarity-Many appeals have been set up to help those affected by the flooding.

The Nice Matin newspaper is leading appeals for blankets and warm clothing. Food and accommodation is also required.

Details of the various appeals can be found in today’s newspaper.


In other news today.


Paris restrictions-The French government has placed Paris on maximum Covid-19 alert due to alarmingly high infection numbers.

Bars are facing a two week shutdown from tomorrow but restaurants will be able to remain open under tight sanitary protocols and will have to close at 10pm.

16,972 new cases of coronavirus were reported in France on Saturday -the highest daily rate since widespread testing for the virus began.

Cases of coronavirus in the Paris region remain above 250 per 10,000 people-levels already reached in Marseilles and Aix en Provence.

Authorities have conceded that the closure of bars will be ‘tough’ but said that it was the only way to restrict the spread of the virus.

A poll carried out by BFM Television on Sunday suggested that 61 percent of people in the Paris region are in favour of bars being shut completely.

Other large French cities including Lyon ,Grenoble and Toulouse are also hovering near the maximum alert threshold.


No Caledonia-The South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia has again rejected independence from France in a referendum on Sunday.

The territory’s second vote in two years saw more than 53 percent of residents vote against independence.

Turnout was 85 percent-higher than the 2018 vote.

President Macron has welcomed the result and says that the voters “have spoken”.

The latest referendum is part of a 1998 decolonisation plan which ended a violent conflict between the indigenous Kanak population who mostly favour independence and the descendants of European settlers.




Food firms in the UK including McDonald's are urging the government to toughen up rules designed to protect rainforests.

Ministers are planning a new law forbidding big firms to use produce from illegally deforested land.

But the firms say the law should apply to all deforestation, whether it's legal or illegal.

That's because the effect on the climate, and on nature, is the same if trees are felled legally or not.

The firms have written a letter to the government on the closing day of its consultation on forest protection.


Cineworld is set to temporarily close its UK cinemas in the coming weeks.

The firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now "unviable".

The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.

It is hoped that the Cineworld cinemas will be able to reopen next year, with staff being asked to accept redundancy in the hope of rejoining the company when theatres open again.



And-Singapore's Changi Airport has warned of a "daunting period" ahead as the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating.

The Asian transit hub is regularly voted world's best airport for the 60m to 70m passenger range.

Changi has suspended operations in two terminals as flights have dropped to the lowest levels in its history.

It has also suspended the construction of a fifth terminal for at least two years.

"The battle with Covid-19 has only just begun," Changi Airport Group said in its annual report. "The future does appear daunting with the situation showing no signs of abatement."




Football-There were 6 games in the English Premier League on Sunday with one or two crazy results.

The champions Liverpool were thrashed 7-2 at Aston Villa who only narrowly avoided relegation last season while Manchester United were trounced 6-1 at home by Spurs.

In the other games Leicester lost 3-0 at home to West Ham.Southampton beat West Brom 2-0.Arsenal were 2-1 winners over Sheffield United and Wolves beat Fulham 1-0.


In the Scottish Premiership on Sunday Celtic were 2-0 winners at St Johnstone and Rangers beat Ross County 2-0.


And in the English Championship Preston were 4-2 winners at Brentford and Stoke and Birmingham drew 1-1.


Tennis-The top seed Simona Halep is out of the French Open after being beaten in the fourth round by Iga Swiatek.

Halep was beaten in just 68 minutes 6-1 6-2 by the Polish teenager.

There are now just 5 seeds left in the women’s singles.


In the men’s event Rafael Nadal has raced into the last 8 with a straight sets win over Sebastian Korda but Alexander Zverev is out after being beaten by Jannik Sinner.


Athletics-The London marathon has been won surprisingly by Shura Kitata of Ethiopia who pushed home to beat Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya.

The favourite Eliud Kipchoge fell behind with two laps of the modified course to go and could only finish in 8th place.

Bridid Kosgei defended her title by winning the women’s event.

Both races were held in cold and windy conditions on a specially designed closed-loop course because of coronavirus restrictions.


Rugby Union-It was the final day of the Gallagher Premiership season on Sunday with Bristol securing a playoff place thanks to a 36-7 win at London Irish.

In the other results Gloucester beat Northampton 20-0.Harlequins were 32-26 winners at Leicester.Saracens and Bath drew 17-17 and Wasps thrashed Exeter 46-5.

Exeter ,Wasps ,Bristol and Bath are in the top four places but Bath could lose out if Sale win their final game on Wednesday against Worcester.

The game was postponed yesterday owing to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Sale squad.


Racing-Sottsass has won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a dramatic race in Paris.

The first five horses home were all trained in France with In Swoop second and Persian King third.

A stewards enquiry was held for possible interference between the runners but the result was not affected.

The favourite Enable struggled on the soft ground and was unable to make an impact.


Golf-Aaron Rai of England has edged out Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff to win the Scottish Open.

Both players had ended on 11 under par with Rai winning at the first extra hole.




Partially cloudy with moderate south westerly winds.

Top temperature 21 degrees.

Overnight lows of 14 degrees on the coast and 10 degrees inland with clear skies.

Tuesday and Wednesday-Partially cloudy with highs of 21-23 degrees.

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