Rescuers evacuate 1600 campers after storm causes flash flooding in Southern France

France news flooding southern France weather rain evacuation

The man is the only person unaccounted for so far

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

After a hot spell, the flash flooding in the northern part of the Gard region turned the Ceze and L'Ardeche rivers into churning waterways that quickly spilled out of their banks.

A German man, who was with the group, was swept away by the floodwaters in his caravan or travel trailer, which was later found "empty and in pieces" near the river.

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Hardest hit was the Gard region, where 119 children, many of them from Germany, were evacuated from their campsite at Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement.

Two Germans who brought a group of teenagers to a campsite in southern France, where a man was swept away by floods, were held for questioning on Friday (Aug 10) after it emerged that the site was off-limits for camping.

The association, based in Leverkusen, Germany, owns the property in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas where the campsite was built without authorisation, Nimes prosecutor Eric Maurel told French broadcaster BFM TV.

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

British campers are among those recovering in emergency shelters after they were rescued from holiday parks and campsites wrecked by the bad weather.

According to UK Met Office nearly three inches of rain fell over south-east France in 24 hours. Some roads remain cut off and up to 17,000 homes are without power.

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Officials have warned more heavy rainfall is expected in the area and have encouraged residents to keep a close eye on the conditions.

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