French flooding: German missing after hundreds evacuated from campsites

Lester Mason
August 10, 2018

A man is missing and 1,600 people have been rescued after severe flooding hit parts of southern France popular with British holidaymakers overnight.

Rescuers believe the man sought shelter in his camper when fast-flowing water burst the banks of the nearby L'Ardeche River, but the vehicle was swept away.

The Gard government also said four German children were taken to hospital on Thursday suffering with hypothermia in Bagnols-sur-Ceze.

According to the interior ministry, a total of 1,600 people, a lot of them campers, were evacuated as a precaution in Gard and the nearby Ardeche and Drome regions.

A top Gard official, Thierry Dousset, told BFM-TV about 750 people were evacuated from five campsites.

The Gard is hugely popular with British holidaymakers in August, while many others from the United Kingdom have retired to the area, or have second homes there.

"Like everybody else, they should remain on their guard", he said.

Rescue operations were in place at three different campsites in the region on Thursday.

In one summer camp in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 119 children were evacuated.

'No one has suitcases.

Hundreds of firefighters supported by four helicopters helped in the evacuation.

The south and central region of France have seen weeks of blazing sunshine replaced by dramatic storms, turning dry, baked campsites into muddy quagmires.

UK Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said almost 3in of rain fell over the area in 24 hours.

Around 17,000 homes in the area are without power.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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