Man missing and 750 evacuated from campsites as floods hit southern France

Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas southern France.- The bad weather caused large power cuts and a man who was working in a summer camp went

Hundreds of rescue workers, including firefighters, police and helicopters, have been deployed to the region to evacuate imperiled campers, many of whom are children.

The man, who is believed to be in his 70s, was helping supervise over 119 German children and youths who were camping in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas.

The mayor of Bagnols, Jean-Yves Chapelet, told BFM-TV many Dutch tourists were among 350 campers evacuated there.

Trapped by a muddy, fast-flowing torrent after the Ardeche river burst its banks he sought shelter inside his caravan, 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.

'A German pensioner remains missing after being swept away. They were among 10 people hospitalized with minor injuries, the Gard Gendarmerie said on its Facebook page.

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Nearly 75mm of rain fell over the area in just 24 hours with more outbreaks possible during the next few days.

About 400 firefighters and policemen, backed by four helicopters, helped in the evacuations and performed rescue operations, the French interior minister said.

Rachel Buchanan, from Oxford in the United Kingdom, was camping close to a river in Ardèche when flooding hit.

"The level and speed of the river today was extraordinary - we woke up in about a foot of water", Rachel Buchanan said.

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

"Driving in our camper van was very frightening as the road by the river was completely under water and waterfalls had appeared from nowhere crashing down the gorge".

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