France assesses damage as Lourdes floodwaters abate
TOULOUSE (AFP) - A massive clean-up was under way in the French pilgrimage town of Lourdes on Sunday as firefighters pumped water from its famed Catholic sanctuaries after flooding forced the evacuation of hundreds of pilgrims.
The waters from days of non-stop rain in the region had begun to recede but the main places of worship remained closed to the public.
Mr Thierry Castillo, the custodian of the sanctuaries, told AFP that the estimate of the damages ran into "hundreds of thousands of euros."
The national weather service lifted the "orange alert" for rain that it had issued for the area, but left in place an "orange warning" for floods.