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Rain brings floods to northern France

Do Not UseDo Not Use 31/05/2016
Firefighters in a dinghy in Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens, northern France, 31 May © AFP Firefighters in a dinghy in Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens, northern France, 31 May

Parts of northern France have been hit by flooding after sustained heavy rain swept the region.

Flooding in Meung-sur-Loire southern Orleans, Loiret department. 31 May 2016: The Loiret department of France is under red alert © AFP The Loiret department of France is under red alert

The national weather service declared a red alert in the Loiret region and orange alerts in areas nearby as the River Loing burst its banks.

Flooded house on May 31, 2016 in Meung-sur-Loire southern Orleans: Emergency services have been called out to hundreds of flooded cellars © AFP Emergency services have been called out to hundreds of flooded cellars

Further north, the Pas-de-Calais department was also on alert.

The River Seine in Paris in flood following heavy rain on May 31, 2016: The River Seine in Paris was also affected by floods on Tuesday © AFP The River Seine in Paris was also affected by floods on Tuesday

A child of three drowned in the Yonne department on Sunday and heavy rain also shut down the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Monday.

Floods in southern Orleans, the Loiret department, France. 31 May 2016: Parts of the city of Orleans, in the Loiret department, were also under water © AFP Parts of the city of Orleans, in the Loiret department, were also under water

French Open coverage

Flood damage in Braunsbach, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, 30 May: The south German town of Braunsbach was devastated by flooding earlier this week © Reuters The south German town of Braunsbach was devastated by flooding earlier this week

One of the towns particularly affected by the flooding on Tuesday was Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens, where firefighters patrolled the streets in a dinghy.

Emergency services were called out 4,500 times across the country between Monday evening and Tuesday morning as "numerous" roads flooded and hundreds of evacuations were carried out.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve advised people to exercise the "greatest caution".

In Pas-de-Calais, rescue workers evacuated homes or ordered people to move to higher floors as rivers rose more than 1m (3ft) in some areas.

In the capital Paris, officials said the River Seine was at levels normally seen only in winter.

Parts of Belgium have also been affected, with emergency services in the city of Roeselare receiving more than 1,000 calls for flooded cellars, Belga news agency reported.

Streets in Vezon, near the city of Tournai, were hit by floods, made worse by mud washed in from nearby fields. Some major roads in the region were closed, media reported.

Monday's washout at the French Open was the first time in 16 years a whole day's play had been cancelled but tournament director Guy Forget remained confident the tournament would finish on schedule on Sunday.

The child who died on Sunday in France's Yonne department was found in the basement of their family home in the village of Saint-Martin-d'Ordon.

It appears that the child slipped and fell, French media say.

Bad weather has been affecting parts of Europe for days.

Lightning injured 11 people in a Paris park on Saturday, most of them children.

A man was also killed by lightning in southern Poland while descending a mountain.

Storms and torrential rain caused severe flooding in southern Germany on Sunday and Monday, leaving four people dead and several injured.

A river burst its banks in the town of Braunsbach, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, sweeping away cars and smashing them into shop windows.

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