20,000 deaths since 1999: New report reveals deadly impact of extreme weather in France
La Faute sur Mer’s mayor (left) and Vendée’s senator (right) in front of an aerial view of the 2 inundated towns of L’Aiguillon and La Faute sur Mer, Vendée, France. Photo source: ©© Sénat
France is one of the most exposed countries in the world to the risks of extreme weather, a new report has found, with nearly 20,000 deaths linked to heatwaves, floods and storms in the last 20 years.
The report from the global climate charity Germanwatch ranked 183 countries around the world according to how exposed they are to extreme weather events – such as heatwaves, storms and flooding – linked to climate change.
France was ranked in the top 20 most exposed countries in the world, in the same bracket as India and Madagascar.The worst affected countries in the world were Puerto Rico, Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti…
À La Faute-sur-Mer, le temps n’a pas effacé le cauchemar de la tempête Xynthia; Le Figaro (02-21-2020)
Ten years after Xynthia storm devastated France, scars still remain.
La Faute-sur-Mer and l’Aiguillon-sur-Mer beaches, Vendée, France; By Claire Le Guern (03-2010)
The very last day of February 2010. It is 4:00 am. Howling winds, whipping rains, infuriated seas, and eight meter high (26 feet) crashing waves, are muffling the desperate cries for help…4:00 am… Twenty nine human lives are being swept away, drowned in the frigid and salty ocean waters. They were in their sleep, in their beds, in the comfort of their home. They did not understand, they could not react, most of them too old, too frail, or much too little to run for safety and climb on the rooftops, like most of the survivors did…
When daylight unveiled the disaster, French Prime Minister François Fillon held an emergency cabinet meeting and afterward called the storm a “national catastrophe.” French President Nicolas Sarkhozy, declared: “We have to find out how families in France in the 21st-century can be surprised in their sleep and drowned in their own houses.” Mr. Sarkozy added, “We have to shed light as urgently as possible on this unacceptable and incomprehensible tragedy.”
As much as this tragedy is utterly unacceptable, it is all too comprehensible and sadly, previously announced by warnings from many scientists, locals, and even more relevantly by an official 2008 report from the Vendée Equipment Department, DDE. The risks of marine submersion were known to the Vendée DDE, which strongly addressed and questioned coastal safety, citing in particular the fragile sea walls in L’Aiguillon-sur-Mer and La Faute-sur-Mer, as well as their existing location and development in flood-prone areas. “There is no doubt about the vulnerability of the Vendée coast to marine submersion”…
Developers don’t get it: climate change means we need to retreat from the coast, Guardian UK (15-03-2016)
It is preposterous to build in areas that are bound to flood. So why are real estate companies still doing it?..