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January 2, 2023

Sinking of Paris Streets During Rain Storm on June 15, 1914

Sections of some of the most important streets in Paris collapsed with-out warning and, according to reports, more than twenty persons were killed, as the result of a rain storm of phenomenal violence that swept over that city on the evening of June 15, 1914.

The most serious cave-in occurred at the junction of the Rue de Boetie and the Faubourg Saint Honoré, where more than 500 sq. ft. of the paving heaved and sank, carrying with it a number of persons that had taken refuge under the awning of a café. At several points in the city a number of persons were killed and much damage was done by gas explosions caused by the breaking of the gas mains.

To a greater extent than any other city in the world Paris is undermined by a labyrinth of excavations, including the ancient and deep excavations known as the catacombs, sewers, ancient and modern, and numerous subways. The collapse of the streets is attributed to the weakening of the underlying soil and rock by recent floods and particularly by the great flood of 1910. The June storm itself lasted but three hours.


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