• Short Summary

    At least eight people were killed in southern France on Tuesday (16 October) when a freak wave hit the Riviera coast.

  • Description

    At least eight people were killed in southern France on Tuesday (16 October) when a freak wave hit the Riviera coast.

    SYNOPSIS: The area affected by the wave stretched from Menton near the Italian boarder to Antibes. Eye witnesses in Nice said the sea pulled back about three hundred metres (yards), dropping about one metre (yard) below its normal level before surging back onto the shore in a gigantic wave. Cars ??? coastal roads were ???, pleasure boats were ??? against the harbour ??? many vessels were swept ??? to sea. The wave struck in the early afternoon just as a sudden downpour hit the Riviera.

    Most of the victims of the wave were workmen building an extension to Nice airport. The wall of water crumbled part of the dyke they were constructing and nine workers were swept away. Two men were rescued and the bodies of five of the workers were later recovered. Two men are still missing. In Antibes, west of Nice, and elderly woman was killed by the wave, which cracked the town's main quay.

    Scientists were puzzled by the wave since the Mediterranean normally has only slight tidal movements. Coast guards said one possible explanation was a submarine landslide and meteorologists suggested that unusually high rainfall could have caused the wave. More rain fell in the two days before the freak wave than normally falls in an entire year on southern France. Since the wave dislodged at least fifteen million cubic metres of water along fifty kilometre stretch of coast, scientists estimate that the wall of water had one hundred times the force of the huge Amazon river in Southern America.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABXK87N5A5SW0IUK2UFENFKCSU
    Media URN:
    VLVABXK87N5A5SW0IUK2UFENFKCSU
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/10/1979
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:43:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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