Heavy rain brings floods to northern France

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe River Seine in Paris burst its banks

Torrential rain has continued to lash northern Europe, causing extensive flooding in France, Belgium and Germany.

The River Seine in Paris burst its banks, and the French Open tennis tournament in the city was hit for a second day by the miserable weather.

In the centre of the country a prison had to be evacuated, with detainees bussed to other facilities.

On the Franco-Belgian border, six weeks' worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

Dozens of villages and hamlets are under water and forecasters have predicted more rain for Wednesday.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve advised people to exercise the "greatest caution".

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image captionThe Loiret department is under red flood alert
image copyrightAFP
image captionFirefighters took to a dinghy in Bruay-la-Buissiere, near Lens

Emergency services were called out 4,500 times across the country between Monday evening and Tuesday morning as hundreds of evacuations were carried out.

On Tuesday only two of 10 scheduled tennis matches at the French Open were completed following Monday's washout, the first time in 16 years a whole day's play had been cancelled.

Bad weather has been affecting parts of Europe for days.

On Sunday, a child of three drowned in the Yonne department after apparently slipping and falling.

Lightning injured 11 people in a Paris park on Saturday, most of them children.

A man was also killed by lightning in southern Poland while descending a mountain.

Storms and torrential rain caused severe flooding in southern Germany on Sunday and Monday, leaving four people dead and several injured.

image copyrightAFP
image captionEmergency services have been called out to hundreds of flooded cellars
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe south German town of Braunsbach was devastated by flooding earlier this week

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