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Dried up rivers, emptied lakes: images of winter drought in Europe


IN PICTURES - Southern Europe, particularly France and Italy, is experiencing a worrying drought at the start of 2023, giving way to distressing images.

After a historic drought last summer and a new record without rain this winter, France and its neighbors are not at the end of their troubles.

Since the start of the year, fairly surprising episodes of drought for the period have been observed in southern Europe: rivers and lakes have dried up in France;

the canals of Venice, faced with an exceptional tide, emptied;

northern Italy is also particularly affected.

This Saturday, February 25, Emmanuel Macron called for the implementation of a water sobriety plan, on the model of energy sobriety.

The departments of southern France particularly affected by the drought

The Pyrénées-Orientales have been on drought alert since June without interruption.

The longest river in the department,

the Têt

, is one of the first victims.

Read alsoWinter drought: is your department at risk of running out of water this summer?

In this photo taken on February 23, 2023, it is possible to see the low water level of the Vinca dam.

In addition to the representation of this drought, the river has also become the symbol of the water fight: this week, the administrative court decided to ask for a reduction of a quarter of the levy of farmers in the river, for fear of seeing it disappear.

The Vinca dam located on the Têt, Pyrénées-Orientales, February 23, 2023. RAYMOND ROIG / AFP

Still in the Pyrénées-Orientales department,

the Agly river

has also completely dried up.

Usage restriction measures were put in place in June 2022 and will surely remain until the end of February.

The irrigation period in May is threatened.

This photo taken on February 23, 2023 shows the dry bed of the Agly River, on the outskirts of Estagel.

The Agly river.


500 kilometers away, the Alpes-Maritimes department is also a victim of drought.

In this photograph, a man stands on

the artificial Broc lake

, near Nice.

Broc Lake.


Between the Pyrénées-Orientales and the Alpes-Maritimes, the Var department is also affected: near Saint-Zacharie,

the Var

has been dry for almost two years, explains a resident of Saint-Zacharie to AFP.

He sometimes has reminiscences that last ten days, then it disappears (…) I've never experienced that, and neither have the old ones


This photo shows the dry bed of the Huveaune river, near Saint-Zacharie, in southeastern France, on February 21, 2023. NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

In mid-February, the rainfall deficit in the Var reached 37%, according to Météo France.

Of the 621 mm of cumulative rain expected from September to March, corresponding to the groundwater recharge period, only 327 mm have fallen to date, including barely 4 mm in February.

This photo shows the completely dry bed of the Issole river in Flassans-sur-Issole, in the Var department, on February 21, 2023. NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

On the other side of the Mediterranean, in Corsica, the level of

Lake Tolla

has also fallen sharply, as can be seen in this photo taken on February 24.

Lake Tolla in Corsica.


Northern Italy dried up

The absence of snow on the mountain peaks, the absence of rain for six weeks and mild temperatures have emptied the lakes in northern Italy.

Especially Lake Garda.

The islet, which was only reachable by boat in the past, reveals its bowels and is now accessible on foot, as can be seen in the photo below taken on February 21, 2023.

A drone image shows the drought-stricken island of San Biagio in Lake Garda, near Lido di Manerba, Italy, February 21, 2023. ALEX FRASER / REUTERS

The Po river

is also dry, as can be seen at the Becca bridge, in the province of Pavia.

An aerial photo shows the bed of the Po river on February 21, 2023. PIERO CRUCIATTI / AFP

In Venice, the gondolas have touched down.

For the past few days, a low tide considered "


" has hit the

City of the Doges

, giving way to a tide of mud.

If this phenomenon is quite frequent in January and February, this decline is remarkable because of its duration.

However, it has nothing to do with the current drought.

Boats are pictured in a canal during severe low tide in the lagoon city of Venice, Italy, February 17, 2023. MANUEL SILVESTRI / REUTERS

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2023-02-25

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