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A British holidaymaker has described being terrified as a "raging river" submerged her campsite in southern France after flash flooding forced the evacuation of hundreds of people.

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.

A top regional official, Thierry Dousset, told French news channel BFM TV that the some 750 people evacuated came from five campsites.

The bad weather caused large power cuts, and a man who was working in a summer camp was reported missing.

Rachel Buchanan, from Oxford, endured a "frightening" drive through floodwater that had hit another site in the Ardeche region.

"Driving in our camper van was very frightening as the road by the river was completely under water and waterfalls had appeared from nowhere crashing down the gorge".

The missing person is a 70-year-old German man who is feared to have been swept away by floodwaters while inside his caravan, police said.

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.

Ten people were taken to hospitals to be treated for minor injuries, including four German children with hypothermia.

"No one has suitcases".

Hundreds of firefighters and police took part in the rescue operations, using helicopters to help spot affected campsites and carry out some people.

Roads remained close throughout these Gard, Ardeche and Drome, but will be reopening as the water level gets lower.


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