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Flood disaster in Cannes

October 5, 2015

From Chris Forrester in Cannes

cannes-floodCannes was in the grip of a flood catastrophe on the eve of MIPCOM. The region has suffered badly, with 17 people confirmed dead, others reported missing, and it could be many more.

The MIPCOM Junior market has re-opened Sunday but extraordinary rainfall on Friday, and then further thunderstorms on Saturday evening when more than 170mm of rain fell in a two-hour period has left the prestige Martinez hotel awash, and even the Palais des Festivals suffering from water damage.

The whole of the Cote d’Azur including Cannes, Biot, Golf-Juan, Antibes and Nice are all badly affected. Flights in and out of Nice were cancelled, and the main Paris-Nice railway line blocked in many places. All night the fire, ambulance and police sirens could be heard in and around Cannes.

Saturday evening saw restaurants flooded out with more than 30 cm of water, and MIPCOM convention delegates forced to roll up their trousers, or abandon shoes, to escape the flooding and get back to the safety of hotels. Parked cars were swept into the sea, while the area around Cannes railway station – where road works were being undertaken – saw smashed cars and motor-cycles piled up like toys.

The street flooding on Saturday evening was of biblical proportions, with street barriers floating down to the sea as if they were paper cups, and the normally beautiful sea front looking just like a flooded river in full spate.

MIPCOM officials worked through the night to re-locate the MIPCOM events into the Palais, although signs on the Palais entrance ask visitors to accept the inevitable interruptions to power, water and the basics of Festival life, such as WiFi.

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