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France uses helicopters to rescue 750 campers amid flash floods

10 August 2018

One person is missing and more than 1,600 people have been evacuated with the help of helicopters after torrential rain caused flooding in southern France.

Officials said 119 children in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas were sent to an emergency shelter.

The 75-year-old man was accompanying a group of about 100 German children who were evacuated from a campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, some 60 kilometres north of Avignon in the Gard 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.

The Gard government also said four German children were hospitalized Thursday for hypothermia in Bagnols-sur-Ceze.

An elderly German citizen serving as a monitor at a campsite was missing, local authorities said.

They were among 10 people treated for minor injuries.

Rescuers walk past a damaged tent in a flooded camp ground in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 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.

"Driving in our camper van was very frightening as the road by the river was completely under water and waterfalls had appeared from nowhere crashing down the gorge".

Tents have been destroyed and roads overwhelmed with water after nearly three inches of rain fell in under 24 hours, causing rivers to overflow at a rapid rate.

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

France uses helicopters to rescue 750 campers amid flash floods