State of emergency declared as floods devastate parts of France and Germany

The Seine burst its banks in parts Credit: PA

At least 11 people have been killed, thousands evacuated and many more left without power after floods devastated parts of France and Germany.

The Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris both remain closed to the public today while emergency flood plans to carry some of their precious works to safety are put into action, and the city Metro closed part of its line for safety reasons.

French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency in the worst affected areas, while in Germany the disaster alarm was declared.

Heavy rains across a band of central Europe, stretching from France to Ukraine, have caused chaos as up to 50mm (2ins) of rain was forecast to fall in some regions in the space of a few hours.

The River Seine through the French capital was expected to peak today at six metres (19ft) above its normal level - the highest seen since the 1910 Great Flood of Paris when waters hit 8.6m (28ft) higher.

Photographs taken today from the Eiffel Tower show the banks of the Seine closed due to the floods, while in Bavaria, Germany, cars can be seen floating in the street as residents clear debris from their homes and businesses.

President Hollande blamed climate change for the flooding, and called for action "on a global level".

The riverside RER C underground commuter line between Austerlitz station and Javel / Pontoise station was closed as a precaution, with passengers advised to use local bus services instead.

Taken from the Eiffel Tower, the picture shows the banks of the Seine which have been closed Credit: PA
Tourist attractions have been closed due to the floods Credit: PA

According to local media, an estimated 21,700 homes in Paris and the Loiret region were left without electricity, while the motorway linking the capital to Bordeaux was cut off by the rising waters.

The most affected city has been Nemours, south of Paris, where around 3,000 people were forced to flee their homes after the floods.

Firefighters and soldiers have been drafted in to rescue stranded residents and motorists.

Meteo France, the country's main weather agency, has put Paris region and six other departments on orange alert, the second-highest warning level on risk of floods, while the Seine-et-Marne department has been put on red alert.

The floods caused devastation in Bavaria, Germany Credit: Reuters
Debris left by the floods Credit: Reuters