Hundreds evacuated from campsites as southern France hit by flash flooding

France news flooding southern France weather rain evacuation

The man is the only person unaccounted for so far

Two Germans who brought a group of teenagers to a campsite in southern France, where a man was swept away by floods, were held for questioning on Friday (Aug 10) after it emerged that the site was off-limits for camping.

Rescuers evacuated more than 180 people from the site in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, north of Avignon, after torrential rain on Thursday transformed the Ardeche river into a raging torrent of muddy water. Articles appear on for a limited time.

Supported by four helicopters, more than 400 firefighters and paramilitary officers were mobilized for the rescue operation.

'The level and speed of the river today was extraordinary - we woke up in about a foot of water, ' she told the BBC.

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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.

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

A French judge handed preliminary charges Saturday to two Germans whose group ran an unauthorized campsite in southern France that was inundated by flash floods, forcing the emergency evacuation of 119 children.

A German monitor of the children's site remains missing.

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

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

"No one has suitcases".

The French weather service has issued orange and yellow alerts for parts of southeast France that will remain in place until 4pm.

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Electricity supplies have been cut in some villages, while roads have been gridlocked because of the number of people trying to get to high ground.

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