Man missing, 1,600 evacuated as heavy floods hit southern France

A German man who was supervising children at a campsite is still missing after he was swept away by floodwaters

Tents were destroyed in the Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas campsite
Tents were destroyed in the Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas campsite

Heavy floods in southern France has forced the evacuation of around 1,600 people, mostly campers, officials say.

A 75-year-old German man who was helping supervise children at the campsite was missing on Thursday, after he was swept away by floodwaters.

Divers were taking part in the search for the missing man.

The man was accompanying a ground of around 100 German children who were evacuated from the campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, some 60km north of Avignon in the Gard region.

The worst-hit areas are Gard, Ardèche and Drôme. More than 400 firefighters and police - as well as four helicopters – were deployed.

Ten people were taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and minor injuries, said regional police spokesman Jerome Tallaron.

Several parts of central and south-east France are on flood alert after weeks of blazing temperatures erupted in storms on Thursday, turning several campsites into mudbaths.

In a statement (in French), the French interior ministry said six departments were placed on a flood alert, while about 17,000 homes were without power in the south-west and north-east.

The flooding comes after southern France - and much of Europe - experienced unusually hot weather.

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