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US News 1,600 evacuated in France floods as helicopters join rescue

01:05  10 august  2018
01:05  10 august  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Flooded Gorges de L'Ardeche © Reuters Flooded Gorges de L'Ardeche

One person is missing and more than 1,600 people have been evacuated with the help of helicopters after torrential rain caused flooding in southern France.

Five campsites in the Gard region were evacuated by hundreds of firefighters, many sent in from other areas, as the rainwater swelled rivers.

A total of 1,600 people, most of them campers, were rescued across Gard and the nearby Ardeche and Drome regions, according to France's interior ministry.

The missing person is a 70-year-old German man who is feared to have been swept away by floodwaters while inside his caravan, police said.

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Rescuers backed by helicopters have evacuated around 750 people from campsites after torrential rain triggered flash flooding in southern France . Rescuers walk past a damaged tent in a flooded campsite in France ( AFP/Getty Images ).

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A rescuer walks in front of a damaged caravan in southern France © Getty A rescuer walks in front of a damaged caravan in southern France

The man was supervising a group of around 100 German children, from the city of Leverkusen, who were evacuated from a campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 83 miles north east from Montpellier.

He was sheltering inside the caravan - said by police to have later been found "empty and in pieces" - after being trapped by muddy, fast-flowing water after the Ardeche river burst its banks.

Divers were reported to be taking part in the search for the man, although a top regional official said it was not known for certain whether the man was in his caravan at the time it was swept away.

Officials said 119 children in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas were sent to an emergency shelter.

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French rescuers backed by helicopters evacuated about 750 people, including many children and tourists, from campsites in southern France after torrential rain swelled rivers in the Gard region Thursday. Join the conversation

Watch: Caravan washed away in France floods


Four German children suffering from hypothermia were taken to hospital in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, around 65 miles from Montpellier.

They were among 10 people treated for minor injuries.

The Bagnols mayor told BFM-TV many Dutch tourists were among the 350 campers evacuated there.

Helicopters were used to spot campsites and occasionally to perform rescues.

German teenagers evacuated from a flooded campsite in southern France © Getty German teenagers evacuated from a flooded campsite in southern France

Several parts of central and southeast France are on flood alert after a blazing heatwave ended abruptly in storms on Thursday.

Locals are being urged to keep a close eye on weather conditions.

Numerous roads in the affected area remained cut off as night fell. Around 17,000 homes in the southwest and northeast were without power.

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