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Photos: ‘Worst flood in 39 years’ hits Landes, France

Southwest France has suffered some of the worst flooding in almost 40 years, with the department of Landes (Nouvelle-Aquitaine) still on Météo France orange alert for floods today (Wednesday May 13).

The flooding happened after the rivers Adour and Midouze - and their tributaries the Douze and Midou - burst their banks.

The waters hit a peak of 6.36 metres in the commune - and department capital - of Mont-de-Marsan, said flood alert service Vigicrues.

This is the highest level since 1981, said weather reporter Guillaume Woznica at news source LCI. Vigicrues said the level was higher than the previous peaks of 2009 (5.84 metres) and 2014 (5.41 metres).

Forecaster Météo France has so far maintained an orange alert for Landes. This is the second-most severe alert level, meaning the situation is potentially dangerous.

Météo France warned residents to be alert and to not - under any circumstances - attempt to enter any flooded areas, whether on foot or in a car.

It added that water levels could rise rapidly without warning, and said residents should secure their belongings to avoid further damage.

In a statement, Vigicrues said: "Although the rain has now stopped, the floods around the Midouze are causing damaging overflows, particularly downstream of the section in the Mont-de-Marsan and Tartas. Around the Adour, the overflow will be significant.”

Yellow Météo France alerts are in place in 30 other departments.

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