French flooding: German missing after hundreds evacuated from campsites

One German tourist has been reported missing

The public prosecutor for the region confirmed to AFP that the president and vice-president of the association that brought the children from Leverkusen to the village of Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas were being held on suspicion of causing unintentional injury and endangering the lives of others.

According to the interior ministry, a total of 1,600 people, a lot of them campers, were evacuated as a precaution in the Gard and the nearby Ardeche and Drome regions.

A 70-year-old German man helping to supervise youngsters at a summer camp in the Gard region is feared to have been swept away by floodwater, along with his van.

Rescuers believe the man sought shelter in his camper when fast-flowing water burst the banks of the nearby L'Ardeche River, but the vehicle was swept away.

More than 400 firefighters and police were deployed to Gard, Ardèche and Drôme, which were hit hardest by the flooding and rain.

However, Dousset, the top aide of the Gard administration, said no one knew for certain yet that the man was in his van at the time.

"No one has suitcases".

The Gard government said four German children were taken to hospital on Thursday suffering from hypothermia in Bagnols-sur-Cèze.

The mayor of Bagnols, Jean-Yves Chapelet, told BFM TV many Dutch tourists were among the 350 campers evacuated in the town.

Nearly 75mm of rain fell over the area in just 24 hours with more outbreaks possible during the next few days. Some roads remain cut off and up to 17,000 homes are without power.

Residents in the area were urged to monitor the weather and give flood waters time to recede.

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