France floods: 1,600 people evacuated after heavy rain


France floods: 1,600 people evacuated after heavy rain

A French judge handed preliminary charges Saturday to two Germans whose group ran an unauthorized campsite in southern France that was inundated by flash floods, forcing the emergency evacuation of 119 children.

About 750 people in total - including many British holidaymakers - were evacuated in Gard, mainly from campsites, district officials reported.

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.

Kathryn Alford, 44, from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, was at Huttopia Camping Le Moulin in Saint Martin d'Ardeche with her husband and two children.

She said severe storms started at around 7am on Thursday with very heavy rain and constant thunder and lightning.

Trapped by a muddy, fast-flowing torrent after the Ardeche river burst its banks he sought shelter inside his caravan, but the vehicle was swept away.

"The level and speed of the river today was extraordinary - we woke up in about a foot of water", Rachel Buchanan said.

"No one has suitcases".

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

According to UK Met Office nearly three inches of rain fell over south-east France in 24 hours.

About 17,000 homes in southwest and northeast France were without power and several roads were closed as a result of the floods.

The weather in the southeast of France has improved this morning but authorities are urging people to stay vigilant as the flooding are receding.