Parisian Roadblocks

Thursday, 28th February 2008 by

Here we see the Paris Fire Brigade in action- they've blocked off this road and are completing what can only be a daring rescue of a cat from a rooftop (well, do you seen any smoke from a fire)?

Rue de Lafayette, where this action is taking place, is a one-way street, so the local police department (the "Prefecture of Police") only needed to block the road at one end.

But a lost cat isn't the only reason for the Parisian police to close streets - a connecting lane behind the US Embassy has also been blocked at both ends.

Submitter DDA reckons this could be during a heightened state of security alert, France's "Vigipirate". Which, I was disappointed to discover, has nothing to do with vigilante pirates, but instead is a threat level indicator similar to the homeland security levels in the US.

However, where the American threat levels go from predictable green (safe) to red (danger) the French system skips out green to start at yellow, running up to red (danger) and then scarlet (even more danger)!

The increased security at the embassy could mean that when this picture was taken the French government had stepped it up to red level.

Thanks to DDA to Fred.