Storms batter Australia and Europe
BERLIN/PARIS • The German authorities yesterday cancelled the third and final day of a rock music festival attended by more than 90,000 fans after lightning strikes injured 80 people, some seriously, and more bad weather was forecast, festival organisers said.
The sold-out Rock am Ring festival, now in its 31st year and with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath at the top of the billing, took place at the airport in Mendig, near the Nuerburgring motor-racing track.
With more storms forecast, the authorities revoked the event's licence yesterday. Organisers said they regretted the decision, but acknowledged that it was necessary to ensure the safety of fans. Participants were asked to clear the festival grounds by noon.
Meanwhile, waters in the rain-swollen River Seine in Paris receded yesterday after reaching their highest level in three decades as attention turned to other areas of France where alert warnings have been issued.
From a peak of 6.10m in the early hours of Saturday, the river began to subside, falling to 5.77m at 8am (2pm Singapore time), the environment ministry's Vigicrues flood watch website said.
80 People were injured, some seriously, after lightning hit the site of the Rock am Ring music festival in Mendig, Germany
18 People have been killed in floods across Europe so far
Red alerts issued for the Seine-Maritime and Eure departments in the northern Normandy region were lifted early yesterday and downgraded to the next level of orange. Alerts have also been issued in 15 other regions, including Ile-de-France, where Paris is located, Lorraine in the north-east and parts of the country's central areas.
Across Europe, at least 18 people have been killed in floods that trapped people in their homes, felled trees and power lines, cut off roads and rail lines and forced rescuers to navigate flooded streets in lifeboats.
More than 20,000 people have been evacuated over the past week from the Loire Valley and the greater Paris area. The health ministry said nearly 500 patients from a dozen hospitals and 800 care home residents had also been moved. In Paris, the Louvre and Orsay museums are due to reopen tomorrow after being closed for three days.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS