WEATHER – The red vigilance for rain-flood and thunderstorms was lifted this Monday, October 4 at 6:00 p.m. in Bouches-du-Rhône and Marseille, where a district was evacuated preventively, and precipitation now threatens the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes , hit hard a year ago.
“We are going to experience an unprecedented stormy episode”, warned the mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan on Monday morning on BFMTV, saying that it was “the first time in twenty years” that the city was placed in red vigilance. In June 2019, a red alert was triggered in the Bouches-du-Rhône, but for heat wave only.
In Marseille, it fell in one night “the equivalent of several months of precipitation”, up to 180 mm of water according to Météo-France. Locally, certain sectors of Bouches-du-Rhône could have received water accumulations of 240 mm once this episode ended.
During the day, the authorities multiplied the messages of caution for the Marseillais, asking them to pick up their children from school just one hour after the start of lessons, then to stay at home. Rail traffic was also suspended, blocking several hundred passengers in Marseille in particular.
Monday evening, the Bouches-du-Rhône and five other departments were therefore still on orange vigilance, according to Météo France: the Var, where 500 firefighters are mobilized, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Alpes-Maritimes, the Haute- Corsica and Vaucluse.
Asked about BFMTV, the Bouches-du-Rhône fire chief continued to warn: “We are in a lull phase but we have our weather experts who tell us about these storm packs that are currently at sea and which will arrive in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, La Ciotat and also in the Var department ”.
Var and Alpes-Maritimes threatened
Precisely in the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, schools have also been closed since noon. At 18:00 on Monday, the accumulations had already exceeded 200 mm locally in the region of Brignoles (Var) or in eastern Corsica. And the accumulations over the whole episode could reach 250 mm in Brignoles or Santa-Luccia in Haute-Corse.
In the Alpes-Maritimes, the department which should be the last affected by this climatic event, the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has recommended that residents leave their workplace early.
The mayor of Cannes said he was particularly worried on Twitter, saying he expected violent phenomena.
A year ago, on October 2, 2020, the Nice hinterland, in red vigilance, was hit by violent precipitation, as part of the storm Alex, which had left 10 dead and eight missing.
Faced with new threats from the sky on Monday, the tribute ceremonies scheduled for Monday morning for the rescuers present at these events have been canceled.
In its last bulletin, Météo-France still predicted the end of this event at 22:00. Since the start of the year, six red vigilances have been launched in mainland France.
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