A viral picture of the dry Loire river in France has been extensively shared on-line amid current heatwaves and drought.
The picture exhibits a department of the river close to a highway bridge, the place the riverbed is sort of totally uncovered.
Some on-line customers falsely claimed that the river has totally run dry for the primary time in additional than 2,000 years, or that the Loire has fallen to a report low stream price.
The picture is missing context and this a part of the river has beforehand dried up throughout sizzling summer time climate.
The picture was captured by Franck Dubray for the native newspaper Ouest France, and it exhibits the Loire riverbed dry close to Loireauxence, between Angers and Nantes.
Some components of the river are flowing on the lowest price since dams had been put in within the Eighties, however the Loire stays open to visitors.
The picture taken by Dubray exhibits a northern tributary of the river that has beforehand been uncovered in summer time, together with in 2021.
Satellite tv for pc images on Google additionally present that components of the riverbed and sank banks of this tributary usually seem uncovered and are totally different from the south tributary even with out excessive drought situations.
Even when the river is drier than normal this 12 months, the Loire river is designed to proceed flowing — within the occasion of the drought — alongside its narrower tributary.
Elements of the river — such because the northern tributary at Loireauxence — successfully turn out to be a “useless arm” and could be crossed on foot.
French engineer and local weather knowledgeable Thibault Laconde additionally shared pictures of the northern Loire tributary dry at Loireauxence in Might 2011 and August 2009.
Laconde – like different consultants– has careworn that France is dealing with extreme drought and that it’s worrying that the Loire river may quickly be at its lowest in some areas since 1976.
“Since 1976, the Loire has solely fallen beneath 100m³/s at Montjean 3 times; 1991, 2019 and 2022,” he wrote on Twitter. “Greater than half of French individuals have by no means seen the Loire at such a low stage.”
“We face a critical drought … [but] the river just isn’t dry. By exhibiting a useless arm, these images are no less than a dramatisation of the state of affairs.”
Ouest-France additionally reported that the Loire has not but fallen to its historic low stream price of 1949.