Eiffel Tower closed anew as snow, freezing rain pummel France

The 19th-century Eiffel Tower will be closed all day Friday and Saturday “to ensure the security of visitors.” (AP)
Updated 09 February 2018
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Eiffel Tower closed anew as snow, freezing rain pummel France

PARIS: The Eiffel Tower is closed and authorities are telling drivers in the Paris region to stay home as snow and freezing rain have hit a swath of France ill-prepared for the wintry weather.
The company that manages France’s most-visited monument said the 19th-century Eiffel Tower will be closed all day Friday and Saturday “to ensure the security of visitors.”
Workers with hand shovels will carefully clear snow from the intricate ironwork and de-ice stairs and platforms. The company said in a statement they can’t use salt because it could corrode the metal and damage the elevators.
Heavy snowfall earlier this week trapped hundreds of drivers in cars and caused the worst-ever traffic jams in the Paris region. More snow is forecast Friday and authorities are warning of dangerous conditions in about a quarter of the country.


Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

This file photo taken on August 17, 2007 shows the Coco Palm resort on Boduhithi Island in the Maldives. (AFP)
Updated 31 min 46 sec ago
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Maldives issue warning amid spike in tourist drownings

  • The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said

COLOMBO: Five tourists including a honeymooning couple have drowned in a single week in the Maldives, officials said, prompting a nationwide safety warning to holiday resorts in the pristine islands.
Tourism officials said all resort operators in the paradise archipelago were urged Monday to keep a close eye on their clients after the spate of deaths.
Strong currents caused by a north-east monsoon were blamed for the slew of drownings in the idyllic atoll nation, where such accidents are usually few and far between.
Around 1.4 million tourists visit the Maldives every year but the latest government data shows just 31 people drowned in 2017.
On January 13, two Filipino newlyweds were swept to their deaths by a powerful undertow.
The man got into trouble and his wife went to his aid, but both perished. Their bodies were recovered and repatriated to the Philippines, officials said.
An 84-year-old Czech tourist and a 66-year-old South Korean woman died within two days of each other at a resort near the capital Male while snorkelling.
A Russian woman on a dive trip was the latest casualty on Sunday.
A Pakistani holidaymaker came close to death but was plucked to safety and taken to hospital.
The tourism ministry was in the process of identifying safe zones for ocean swimming and diving after the spike in drownings, officials said.
The Maldives relies on tourism and visitors come for the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the islands scattered some 800 kilometers (500 miles) across the equator.