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France floods: 1600 evacuated, German missing at campsite

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Flooded Gorges de L'Ardeche

More than 400 police and firefighters, aided by helicopters, helped in the evacuations.

The French Interior Ministry said 1,600 people were evacuated from the region, including 750 people from five campsites.

A 70-year-old German man is now missing from a summer camp in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, and other 400 emergency services personnel have been called in. Two German men have been arrested for setting up the site and face charges of "causing involuntary injuries", "endangering the lives of others", "concealing a work place", and the "exploitation of a campsite without authorisation".

A British woman who was on holiday in the neighbouring Ardeche region said floodwaters that hit a site near one river were extraordinary.

Divers were reported to be taking part in the search for the man, although a top regional official said it was not known for certain whether the man was in his caravan at the time it was swept away.

The flash flooding came about after a hot spell in France, and the Ceze and L'Ardeche rivers quickly burst their banks.

"No one has suitcases".

Authorities also said 119 children in nearby Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas were sent to an emergency shelter.

The man is thought to have fallen into the fast-flowing River Aube at the village of Rouvres-sur-Aube in eastern France on Thursday afternoon, Fran├žoise Souliman, prefect of the Haute-Marne district, told the German Press Agency on Friday. The mayor of Bagnols, Jean-Yves Chapelet, told BFMTV that a large number of Dutch tourists were among the 350 campers evacuated.

Authorities warned that the flooding would take time to recede and urged people to be vigilant.

Numerous roads in the affected area remained cut off as night fell.

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