Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Helicopters rescue campers in France amid flash floods

Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas southern France.- The bad weather caused large power cuts and a man who was working in a summer camp went Rescuers walk past a damaged tent in a flooded campsite
Deanna Wagner | 10 August, 2018, 15:23

Collomb, the interior minister, said in a statement that 1,600 people were evacuated as a precaution in the Gard, the Ardeche and the Drome regions.

A 70-year-old German man who was helping to supervise children at a campsite was reported missing on Thursday after he was swept away in his caravan by floodwaters, police said.

Heavy rains in the southeast of France caused flash flooding and led to the evacuation of 1,600 people in the Ardèche, Gard and Drôme regions for precautionary measures yesterday.

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.

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.

Almost 120 children were evacuated from the site as emergency teams helped around 750 people to safety across the Gard region. They were among 10 people hospitalized with minor injuries, the Gard Gendarmerie said on its Facebook page. The mayor of Bagnols, Jean-Yves Chapelet, told BFM-TV many Dutch tourists were among the 350 campers evacuated there.

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In one summer camp in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 119 children were evacuated.

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

The French weather service has issued orange and yellow alerts for parts of south-east France that will remain in place until 4pm on Friday.

Locals are being urged to keep a close eye on weather conditions.

Nearly three inches of rain fell in 24 hours.

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