Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Helicopters rescue campers in France amid flash floods

France news flooding southern France weather rain evacuation The man is the only person unaccounted for so far
Patty Aguilar | 10 August, 2018, 13:26

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

The TV channel reported that the missing person was a 70-year-old German man, a monitor at one campsite who was said to have been swept away inside his van.

A campsite in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, 37 miles north of the French city of Avignon in the Gard region, had to be evacuated after storms caused flash flooding.

Rescuers used helicopters to evacuate people, including many children and tourists in three regions in the south of the country.

Ten people were taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and minor injuries, said regional police spokesman Jerome Tallaron.

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.

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The worst-hit areas are Gard, Ardèche and Drôme.

Footage posted on social media showed dramatic scenes of flooding.

More than 400 firefighters and gendarmes, many sent in from other regions, helped in the evacuations, using helicopters to spot campsites and occasionally to perform rescues.

UK Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said almost 3in of rain fell over the area in 24 hours.

The man, who is believed to be in his 70s, was helping supervise over 119 German children and youths who were camping in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas. Authorities warned that the flooding would take time to recede and urged people to be vigilant.

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.

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