Paris' flooded central river has reached its peak, but it might be a while until the Seine and its surroundings return to normal, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Saturday after a crisis meeting with city officials.

Heavy rains last week, which have since tapered off, caused the river to rise to its highest point in more than 30 years. The floods caused some 20,000 evacuations around the Paris region. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said four people had died and 24 were injured across the areas of France affected by the floods.

The Seine reached its zenith on Friday, when its waters hit 6.1 metres above usual levels. While no one has been seriously injured, officials said rescue operations have responded to requests for help from hundreds of onlookers who got too close to the swirling waters.

Transportation networks were interrupted, with at least two rail and metro stations closed near the river and roads blocked off. Many of the city's famous museums were also closed, including the Louvre. Workers had to move masterpieces to higher ground.

Some rains are still forecast for the next few days, Hidalgo said, but they are not forecast to be heavy enough to make a difference to river levels, which she said are expected to settle at 6.05 metres.

Hidalgo and other officials could not say when they expect the waters to begin going down. Valls, speaking to journalists after a government meeting on Saturday, said the waters were receding "slowly but steadily," and said that it would take many days for them to reach a normal level.

He added that the government planned to hold a number of meetings on the floods at the beginning of the week, adding that the Economics Ministry would, "pay special attention to the economic damage, concerning the commercial or industrial activity that could have been hit by these floods."

Several riverside business were affected by the high waters. Hidalgo pointed out boat tour company Bateaux Mouche and the numerous floating cafes and restaurants that line the banks. Many parks and gardens remained shut, Hidalgo said that the city was assessing the stability of trees in rain-sodden ground.

The biggest challenges for Paris during the days and weeks, Hidalgo said, was the maintenance of underground infrastructures near the river.

The water covered riverside promenades and reached the bottom branches of trees planted alongside the lower embankments. Numerous offices and apartment buildings near the river saw their cellars and basements affected by the rising waters.

Boat traffic along the river was restricted to emergency services, whose small boats barely fit under the arches of the bridges that cross the Seine.

"It's true that the Seine, overflowing its banks, is something spectacular and everyone wants to see this historic moment ... but there is a real danger, and the current is very strong," Hidalgo said, warning Parisians and visitors to be prudent when they go to see the swollen river.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.