Riviera flood: Marineland park under sea of mud

The devastating storms that lashed the French Riviera this weekend have left Marineland, the largest sea park in Europe under a sea of mud, with stingrays and sharks among the animals lost to the floods.

Riviera flood: Marineland park under sea of mud
Seals left swimming in muddy pool after the floods. Photo: Bardot Foundation.

The deadly storms that hit the southern coast of France this weekend, left Marineland, the largest sea park in Europe and the ‘pride of Antibes’ ravaged.

After the deluge of flood water swept down from the hills, penguins and sea lions found themselves in mud-filled pools and there were reports that stingrays and other species were found dead in the car park.

Others claimed sea lions and tortoises were able to escape from their enclosures.

The waves of 1.5. to 2.5 metres inundated some aquariums, killing stingrays and sharks, while a number of turtles remain missing.

One turtle was found this morning trapped in the dolphin’s filtration system.

Opponents of the park including the animal rights group the Brigitte Bardot foundation, which called it a ‘prison’ on Twitter, are suspicious that not enough has been said about the whereabouts of the killer whales, which are one of the park’s main attractions along with Mediterranean stingrays and turtles.

But park chiefs dismissed the suspicion.

Marineland manager Bernard Giampaolo told 20 Minutes news site: “There have been some losses, but our killer whales are not dying on the parking lot as some people are saying here and there. The situation with the animals is beginning to stabilize.” 



“We have no electricity, no flowing water,” said park director Bernard Gianpaolo, as dozens of firemen worked to pump out water blocking filtration systems at the park.


The park was as unrecognizable as the campsites and woodlands in the surrounding area that were also left devastated by the storms, which left 19 people dead.

Now completely submerged in muddy water, over 90 percent of the filtration machines that make sure the pools are suitable for the animals have been destroyed, along with the park’s tropical fish tanks.

Only the two performance stages were able to withstand the force of the storms.

The park has been closed until further notice.



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South west France on red alert for flooding

Five areas in south west France have been placed on a red weather alert for flooding as storms lash the region.

South west France on red alert for flooding
Storms are moving in to south west France over the Pyrenees. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

Météo France has placed five départements in south west France – Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne and Ariège – on a red weather alert for heavy rains and flooding.

Extremely heavy rainstorms have hit the area, with a band of storm clouds travelling along the Pyrenees, bringing the risk of avalanches in the mountains and flooding in lowland areas.

The neighbouring département of Pyrénées-Orientale is on orange alert, along with the principality of Andorra. In the north, Aisne is also on orange alert for heavy rain.

Heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday, gradually easing off towards the evening, although the flood alerts remain in place until Tuesday.