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Epic rains wash uncollected trash onto beaches in major French city

Wednesday, October 6th 2021, 8:30 pm - Parts of the country's southeast saw two months' worth of rain in just two days.

There's never a 'good' time to receive months' worth of rain in just a couple of days, but the timing of a recent deluge in France was doubly unfortunate.

Between Sunday and Monday, parts of southeastern France were slammed by storms that dumped 100-150 mm of rain on the region, with locally higher amounts. For some cities, that amounted to two months' worth of rain over the course of just two days.

The result, understandably, was flash-flooding, which was so severe in the city of Aix-en-Provence that many residents were ordered to stay home, and some water rescues had to be carried out.

In nearby Marseille, meanwhile, the torrents arrived at a particularly inopportune time, coinciding with a trash collectors strike. With higher than normal amounts of trash awaiting collection, the rains washed much of it toward the sea, where it littered several beaches in large quantities.

"Every year, around the same time, we have trash washing up on the beach because of the rain, but this time there was also the rubbish-collector strike,” a spokeswoman for French environmental group MerTerre, Isabelle Poitou, told AFP.

Residents and municipal officials have been working to clear up the debris.

Parts of Europe have experienced damaging rainfall in the past few months. In September, a series of storms elsewhere in southern France dropped more than 200 mm in some localities. Earlier in the summer, almost 200 people in Germany lost their lives in some of the worst flooding the country has seen in decades.

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