France floods: German man missing, 1600 campers evacuated

A rescuer walks in front of a damaged caravan in southern France

Rachel Buchanan, from Oxford, was left with a "frightening" drive through floodwaters that had hit a site near a river in the neighbouring Ardeche region. When things had calmed down around four-ish we went down to the village and were met by the sight of water pouring down streets from hills into a completely changed raging river'. Divers and a helicopter have been deployed to search for the missing man, Souliman said.

Five campsites in the Gard region were evacuated by hundreds of firefighters, many sent in from other areas, as the rainwater swelled rivers. All in the group, who are from the city of Leverkusen, are all accounted for and safe.

The Gard administration also said four German children were hospitalized on Thursday for hypothermia in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, a town on the Ceze River.

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

"No one has suitcases".

It's been advised that locals give time for flood waters to recede, and keep an eye on local weather reports before they travel.

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Roads remained close throughout these Gard, Ardeche and Drome, but will be reopening as the water level gets lower.

The Europe-wide heatwave sent the mercury above 113F (45C) last weekend, intensifying wildfires that began last Friday.

Hardest hit was the Gard region, where 119 children, many of them from Germany, were evacuated from their campsite at Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in a statement.

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

Flood alerts continue across the southeast region, and 17,000 homes in the southwest and northeast are without power.

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