Published: Fri, August 10, 2018

Holidaymakers evacuated as floods hit southern France

Holidaymakers evacuated as floods hit southern France

BFM-TV reported he was a 70-year-old German, a monitor at one campsite who was allegedly swept away inside his van.

Of the 750 people helped to safety by emergency crew in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas region of Gard, around 120 of them were children, mainly from Germany.

Trapped by a fast-flowing torrent, he sought shelter inside his caravan - but the vehicle was swept away, the AFP news agency reports.

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 search was underway for him.

Four of the rescued German children were taken to the hospital suffering from hypothermia, officials said.

The worst hit areas are Gard, Ardèche and Drôme, which are all popular holiday sites.

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

Footage posted on social media showed dramatic scenes of flooding.

UK Met Office weather expert Marco Petagna said almost three inches of rain fell in the area in just 24 hours.

Hundreds of firefighters backed by four helicopters were involved in the evacuation mission.

Numerous roads in the area remained cut off. Authorities warned that the flooding would take time to recede and urged people to be vigilant.

A spokesman for the Gard Prefectures said: 'It is hoped that the flooding will reach its peak by around 11pm on Thursday'.

Pictures showed rescuers wading through flooded campsites with damage to tents, caravans and bicycles.

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

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