Hundreds of campers rescued as flash floods hit southern France

France news flooding southern France weather rain evacuation

In southeastern France, 1,600 people were evacuated because of a "violent" storm, according to a government statement Thursday.

One man remains missing, believed to be a German man in his seventies, who was working at a summer camp in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas in the Gard region, 37 miles north of Avignon.

The worst-hit areas are Gard, Ardèche and Drôme.

The men, who were not named, were the president and vice-president of a charitable foundation that brought had children from Leverkusen in Germany's industrial Rhineland region to the village of Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, said Eric Maurel, the public prosecutor for the region.

The vehicle was found "empty and in pieces" near the river after the man was trapped by a muddy, fast-flowing torrent when the Ardeche river burst its banks.

"No one has suitcases".

Ten people were hospitalized with hypothermia and minor injuries, the Gard Gendarmerie said on its Facebook page. The mayor of Bagnols, Jean-Yves Chapelet, told BFMTV that a large number of Dutch tourists were among the 350 campers evacuated.

UK Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said almost 3in of rain fell over the area in 24 hours.

More than 400 firefighters and gendarmes, many sent in from other regions, helped in the evacuations, using helicopters to spot campsites and occasionally to perform rescues.

The French weather service has issued orange and yellow alerts for parts of south-east France which will remain in place until 4pm on Friday.

About 17,000 homes in southwest and northeast France were without power and several roads were closed as a result of the floods.

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