Hundreds evacuated by helicopter from flooded campsites in France

One German tourist has been reported missing

All in the group, who are from the city of Leverkusen, are all accounted for and safe.

BFM-TV said he was a 70-year-old German citizen serving as a monitor at the Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas site and feared to have been swept away by floodwaters along with his van.

One person is missing and more than 1,600 people have been evacuated with the help of helicopters after torrential rain caused flooding in southern France.

Rescuers walk past a damaged tent in a flooded camp ground in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, southern France.

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.

'The situation is extremely perilous, ' said a spokesman for the emergency services in the town of Bagnols-sur-Ceze, north of Avignon, where the drama happened.

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

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"Like everybody else, they should remain on their guard", he said.

Helicopters were used to spot campsites and occasionally to perform rescues.

Videos posted on social media showed flood water rushing through populated areas.

"No one has suitcases". Authorities warned that the flooding would take time to recede and urged people to be vigilant.

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.

The south and central region of France have seen weeks of blazing sunshine replaced by dramatic storms, turning dry, baked campsites into muddy quagmires.

Around 19,000 homes are without power, Le Monde reported.

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