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Things are much clearer now on the detonation of the WW2 bomb in Marseille.  The following link has all the details plus a map of the area to be evacuated:

http://www.paca.pref.gouv.fr/Actualites/Bombe-a-Marseille-evacuation-et-confinement-preventifs-de-la-population

  • From 07:00 Wednesday 18th January, 4,300 people living near the Vieux Port will have to leave their homes or work-places – there are two refuges provided.
  • From 09:00 no-one can enter this zone
  • From 09:00, people living in the wider ‘zone de protection’ will need to stay indoors and close shutters against any flying glass
  • The tunnels will only be open to traffic crossing the town – the exits into the town centre will be closed from 07:00
  • All traffic will be halted, both on the land and at sea – the 4 incoming ferries will be rerouted

The 250kg bomb is situated on the sea-side of the Fort St Jean – along the promenade you can see in the photo.  It is thought to be American, dropped during the bombardment in 1943. However the authorities can’t exclude the fact that it is Italian left over from fighting on 21 June 1940.  The démineurs are used to dealing with this type of bomb but fear that it has been damaged in which case it will have to be towed 40m out to sea.  Then the plongeurs-démineurs of the Marine nationale will have to take over. They have hired a large crane and are currently training on its use.  This must be an incredibly difficult situation for them to deal with – especially so close to a big city.  Next Wednesday is not a day to visit Marseille!

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