AS MANY as five million people could have their lives disrupted by the next big flood of the Seine river in Paris according to a new report.
The study, commissioned by EPTB - a firm responsible for four flood defences upstream from the capital - presents a much higher estimate than a previous report putting the figure at 850,000.
The Seine rose 8.68 metres in the 1910 flood and left the capital paralysed for months but today's city is much more dependent on underground transport and cable networks for power, TV and internet.
The latest report says the business and logistical impact would be felt over much of France, with the Ile-de-France generating a third of France's gross domestic product.
EPTB is building a fifth lake outside Paris that will reinforce the city's flood defences, costing €500million.
An earlier study, published in December, said 8% of properties in Ile-de-France would be directly affected, with the Val-de-Marne and Hauts-de-Seine seeing homes lost to flooding from the Seine and Marne rivers. In all, 850,000 people would be left homeless.
Paris has been strengthening its flood defences to stave off the worst effects of waters which would rise over the Pont de l’Alma and reach up to the entrance of Gare Saint-Lazare, 1,500m away.