French mayor Rene Marratier jailed for role in deadly flood

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Rene Marratier said he would appeal against the verdict

The former mayor of a French seaside town has been sentenced to jail for four years for ignoring flood risks before a storm that killed 29 people.

Rene Marratier hid the risks to La Faute-sur-Mer to avoid putting off property developers, the court said.

The storm Xynthia hit western Europe in early 2010. The storm knocked down seawalls in La Faute-sur-Mer, leading to severe flooding.

Marratier called the verdict "unjust" and said he would appeal.

On Friday, the court said that Marratier knew La Faute-sur-Mer, a west coast resort in the Pays de la Loire region, was at risk of flooding.

However, he "deliberately hid" the risk so that he could benefit from the "cash-cow" of property development, the court added.

Marratier's deputy was jailed for two years.

Xynthia swept through Spain, Portugal and France in February 2010, killing at least 50 people in western Europe.

More on this story

Related Topics