The calm after the storm on the West coast of France. Now a tide of anger is mounting with claims that much of the devastation could have been prevented if the sea walls had been regularly maintained.
The bulldozers have moved in to try and patch up the damage after the sea and winds ripped the defences apart. A study last year recommended major reconstruction work, a lack of funds stopped the work. Old age meant the sea wall couldn’t stand up to storm Xynthia, as one local resident explained.
“It was built in 1784. It should have received maintenance since then, “ she said while another pointed out, “They basically repaired little bits at a time when it was needed so it was bound to break one day.
France’s western coast was hardest hit by the storm which has killed at least fifty people.
Hurricane force winds flooded ports and destroyed homes leaving a million households without electricity and little else. Emergency shelters are currently home for some survivors.