Paris frees cash for Rhone flood damage
PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) - The French government on Monday released EUR 24 million (USD 29 million) to repair banks of the Rhone river breached by devastating floods that killed seven people over the past week.
“In the Rhone delta, the state and public institutions will mobilise EUR 24 million for the reconstruction and repair of damaged banks,” Ecology Minister Roselyne Bachelot said.
Huge mop-up operations were continuing Monday in the southern town of Arles, between Marseille and Montpellier, after rain-swelled rivers burst their banks.
Around 1,300 policemen and soldiers were still deployed in the operation, in particular to provide security at houses left vacant because of the floods and to distribute water and food.
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Arles Tuesday at the request of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Bachelot said.
Raffarin chaired late Monday a ministerial committee on the socio-economic and cultural consequences for France’s southeastern region.
An inspection team is also expected in the Marseille region on Tuesday to assess the material damage caused by the floods
The chamber of commerce and industry in Arles puts the damage at between EUR 150 million and EUR 200 million.
he regional Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur council voted Monday to release the first half of a EUR 20 million grant for flood victims, adding to the EUR 15 million allocated by the Bouches-du-Rhone general council.
Subject: French news