IOC forced to flee Lausanne headquarters after flooding
Monday, 12 November 2012
November 12 - Flooding today forced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to temporarily close its headquarters in Lausanne and relocate staff while it is cleaned up.
An old water pipe burst, damaging archives and knocking out communications, IOC director general Christophe De Kepper said.
The pipe, which had been weakened with age, had burst early yesterday near the IOC headquarters on the banks of Lake Geneva and large amounts of water had gushed into the basement.
In some places, the water stood as high as two metres, claimed De Kepper.
Around 20 to 30 per cent of the IOC's recent paper archives had been damaged, he estimated.
But none of the organisation's historic archives had been destroyed since they are housed separately at the IOC Museum.
The server rooms in the headquarters basement had meanwhile all been flooded, disabiling the building's internet and telephone connections.
Some 150 of the organisation's staff were relocated to another IOC building in the city.
A camping site and several restaurants were also flooded when the pipe burst, and the main highway was closed for several hours yesterday, civil protection services said in a statement.
Around 100 people, drawn from the fire brigade, city water and road services, civil protection units and police, rapidly arrived on site and managed to halt the leak and begin pumping out the flooded buildings.