German missing after floods rip through French campsite


The man is thought to have fallen into the fast-flowing River Aube at the village of Rouvres-sur-Aube in eastern France on Thursday afternoon, Françoise Souliman, prefect of the Haute-Marne district, told the German Press Agency on Friday. One fireman reported finding adults and children clinging to trees in an effort to escape the floodwater.

Heavy floods have forced the evacuation of 1600 people - majority campers - in southern France, officials say.

Hundreds of firefighters backed by four helicopters helped in the evacuation.

French divers are searching for a 70-year-old German man who was swept off by a torrent of rushing water at an allegedly illegal site in Saint Julien-de-Peyrolas in Gard, north of Avignon, along with his camper van.

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Eva Tapiero reported from Paris and Judith Vonberg wrote in London.

The man was supervising a group of about 100 German children from the city of Leverkusen, who were evacuated from a campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 83 miles northeast of Montpellier.

The Gard is hugely popular with British holidaymakers in August, while many others from the United Kingdom have retired to the area, or have second homes there.

'No one has suitcases. They were among 10 people hospitalized with minor injuries, the Gard Gendarmerie said on its Facebook page.

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He added: 'Helicopters are being used in the relief operations, with valleys particularly badly hit'.

In the same region, 119 schoolchildren were evacuated and sent to an emergency shelter.

Numerous roads in the affected area remained cut off as night fell.

Locals are being urged to keep a close eye on weather conditions and warned flooding would take time to recede.

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Heavy rain meant tents were destroyed, while about 17,000 homes were without power.