Hundreds evacuated by helicopter from flooded campsites in France

One German tourist has been reported missing

BFM-TV said he was a 70-year-old German citizen serving as a monitor at the Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas site and feared to have been swept away by floodwaters along with his van.

Divers are taking part in the search for the missing man, according to witnesses.

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

A total of 136 German children on a school trip were trapped in the campsite and had to be rescued.

Around 1,600 people, including many holidaymakers at campsites, have been evacuated in southern France after torrential rain caused flash flooding and transformed rivers and streams into raging torrents.

More than 400 firefighters and police - as well as four helicopters - have been deployed.

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A spokesman for Gard Prefectures said: "It is hoped the flooding will reach its peak by around 11pm on Thursday".

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.

The south and central region of France have seen weeks of blazing sunshine replaced by dramatic storms, turning dry, baked campsites into muddy quagmires.

Electricity supplies have been cut in some villages, while roads have been gridlocked because of the number of people trying to get to high ground.

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