Hundreds of campers rescued as flash floods hit southern France

France news flooding southern France weather rain evacuation

A local prosecutor on Saturday said the two men faced charges of unintentionally causing injuries and putting lives in danger, as well as establishing a campsite without authorisation.

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

Across Norway, ferry companies cancelled crossings Friday. One fireman reported finding adults and children clinging to trees in an effort to escape the floodwater. Authorities warned hikers of fierce winds in the mountains and called on people to securely fasten small boats, tents and other gear.

On Thursday, 119 children were evacuated from the site, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) north of Avignon in the Gard region, after the Ardeche river burst its banks, swamping the campground in a fast-flowing, muddy torrent.

A 70-year-old German man helping to supervise children at a summer camp at Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas in Gard was feared to have been swept away by floodwaters along with his van yesterday. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital and was in serious condition, police spokesman Henrik Nielsen told public broadcaster DR.

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More than 400 firefighters and police officers, many sent in from other areas, were involved in the operations.

"I looked out at one point and realised that the water level seemed higher than just massive puddles".

A British man vacationing in the southern French region of Gard has told a British broadcaster that a campsite and restaurants were completely destroyed by flash flooding on Thursday.

However, Hass said authorities were still "not certain he was actually present" when that happened.

Bryan said his wife "saw a whole caravan float down the river".

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