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RivieraLife.tv Flooding disaster November 2011                                                                                

Declaration of a state of natural disaster in the Alpes-Maritimes  nicerendezvous.com 19 Nov 11 An order dated 18 Nov 11, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 19 Nov 11, has recognised the victims of natural disasters in the Alpes-Maritimes following the flooding and mudslides that occurred from 04 - 06 Nov 11. The victims have 10 days from the publication of the order to file an estimate of their losses with their insurance companies to benefit from the compensation scheme established by law No. 82-600 of 13 July 1982. A total of 312 communes in the South East including the Var and Corsica departments have been declared areas of natural disaster. Click here to see the full list.

Analysis: Italy, Southeast France hit by heavy rains, floods  insurancejournal.com 15 Nov 11 Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide has issued a report on the heavy rains, which caused widespread flooding in France and Italy during the first week of November. The storms were caused by a 'low pressure system that developed over the Mediterranean Sea and moved northwards, bringing high levels of precipitation,' AIR explained. 'The system responsible for the recent flooding in Italy and France began as an extra tropical storm named Rolf, which subsequently developed tropical characteristics over the warm waters of the Mediterranean.' AIR observed that the 'relatively warm waters of the Mediterranean can facilitate the formation of such storms, which are hurricane-like with well-defined central regions and roughly symmetrical cloud-structures. Opinion is divided as to how to classify these events since they exhibit properties of both hurricanes and polar-low systems,' sometimes called 'arctic-hurricanes.' However the storms that hit southeastern France were quite powerful with 'sustained winds of tropical storm strength and gusts up to 150 km/h at Porquerolles Island, south of Toulon. The recent event—more damaging from a flood perspective— brought rainfall in excess of 400 mm over a period of 4 days in the Var region of France.

Waves flood the Promenade des Anglais - Pic: Valery Hache /AFP

Floods: 120 communes in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes declared disaster zones  AFP 14 Nov 11 One hundred and twenty communes in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes have been declared flood disaster zones by Interior Minister Claude Gueant whilst visiting Puget-sur-Argens, one of the worst hit areas, on Monday. 80 out of 153 communes in the Var and 40 out of 163 communes in the Alpes Maritimes were on the list. The minister, who visited an industrial zone in Puget-sur-Argens, congratulated the security forces and civil protection organisations for their work during the flooding. The Interior Minister had announced on 08 Nov 11 in the National Assembly the payment of €300,000 in extreme urgency aid to the prefect of the Var.

Storms in southern France will cost several million  lepoint.fr 10 Nov 11 The damage caused by storms that affected the Alpes-Maritimes from Saturday to Tuesday, especially in the west of the department, amount to 'several million euros', according to a first assessment by the prefecture. The Caisse Centrale de Reassurance (CCR) said Thursday in a statement that "the floods that hit southern France during the first week of November may cost between €550 to 800 million to insurers." The estimate cover the area stretching from the Atlantic Pyrenees to the Alpes-Maritimes and Corsica. Thirty-six municipalities have so far applied for recognition of a state of natural disaster, including Villeneuve-Loubet, Auribeau-sur-Siagne and La Colle-sur-Loup.

More bad weather in Southeast France: One man is washed away  lci.tf1.fr 9 Nov 11 Firefighters in the Alpes-Maritimes are searching for a man who was washed away by the Var river. The 50 year old was working in a bulldozer to repair a bank along the Var near Castagniers, north west of Nice. The alarm was raised around 9 am, Wednesday morning.  The bulldozer plunged into the river, the driver was able to grab onto the river bank and be rescued, but his colleague was taken away by the waves. "The chances of finding the man alive have diminished significantly" commented one of the rescue team. A crane will lift the bulldozer Thursday morning to see if the body of the man is underneath. Strong winds Tuesday caused coastal flooding from giant waves. The Promenade des Anglais was ravaged by high seas with clean-up crews working all night to clear up debris. The waves reached up to six metres in places, and  caused the complete closure of the Bord de Mar between Cagnes-sur-Mer and Antibes.

Alpes-Maritimes allocates €2.5 million for flood damage  lefigaro.fr 07 Nov 11 The General Council of the Alpes-Maritimes has decided to release aid of € 2.5 million to repair flood damage that hit several towns in the area this weekend. "We have decided on a plan to help the municipalities affected, including Pégomas, Auribeau-sur-Siagne, Villeneuve-Loubet and La Colle-sur-Loup," said its president, Eric Ciotti. Two million euros will be spent on "heavy investments, including the rebuilding of levees destroyed at Auribeau-sur-Siagne," he said. A budget of €500,000 will be allocated to municipalities and individuals in the form of emergency credit. The assistance plan must be approved by a Council meeting 18 Nov 11. "We will refine the plan after estimating the damage to businesses." Ciotti said that he has sked the Ministry of the Interior to declare a state of natural disaster.

The Riviera counts the cost of flooding  20minutes.fr 07 Nov 11 Heavy rains caused confusion throughout the department this weekend. The west of the department was worst affected. The prefecture reported more than a thousand evacuees, mainly in Pegomas, Auribeau-sur-Siagne, Antibes and Villeneuve-Loubet. Rail traffic is reduced to one lane between Nice and Cannes, and the coastal roads are shut, strewn with trash from the beach. Approximately 8,000 homes were without electricity Sunday, including 3,200 in Nice where the situation returned to normal around 16:30. Some 500 pompiers and about sixty Force 06 officers were at work this weekend to deal with emergencies. No casualties were reported in the Alpes-Maritimes. By late afternoon Sunday, about 300 residents had still not been able to return home. J. C. Magnenet & A. Selvi.

Rain, wind, flooding lash the Cote d'azur and Var  lepoint.fr 06 Nov11 Heavy rains caused the deaths of three people in the South of France including a retired couple from carbon monoxide intoxication. Two retirees aged 71 years old died overnight in Bagnols-en-Forêt from carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to evacuate water from their basement with a pump. Firefighters made about 1,200 interventions in the Var, including hoisting 30 people to safety, and 600 evacuations. Several rivers burst their banks at Brignoles and Argens. Some 600 people were evacuated on the coast and inland in the Alpes-Maritimes, near Cannes and Grasse. Many secondary roads are cut off by flooding near the Var,  Brague, Loup and Siagne rivers. Pierre Thebault.

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