After a period of unusually hot weather, storms hit southern France and Europe, causing flash floods. UK Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna asserted that in a 24-hour period almost 3in (8cm) of rain fell.
The most affected areas are Ardeche, Drome and Gard. Along with four helicopters, more than 400 firefighters and police have been deployed.
The French interior ministry, in a statement said, flood alert had been placed on six departments. Whereas, in the south-west and north-east, around 17,000 homes were without power.
According to the authorities, due to the floods in France, 1,600 people have been evacuated. Besides, a 70-year-old German man is missing. The man was a supervisor of children at a summer camp.
Around 119 children from one summer camp in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas in the Gard region, were evacuated. One of the camper on BFMTV said, they heard cries of the children “in the branches”, but couldn’t reach them.
AFP news agency reports, the German man was trapped by rapid-flowing flood. He had sought shelter inside his caravan, which was swept away. According to the police, it was found later “empty and in pieces.”
The search operation continued, for which divers were called.
According to the news agency, Jérôme Tallaron, regional police spokesman, said that 10 people with hypothermia and minor injuries had been taken to hospital.
When the flooding hit Ardeche, Rachel Buchanan was camping there. She is from Oxford in the UK.
In her statement to the BBC, she said, “We knew a storm was imminent and couldn’t believe the ferocity of last night’s storm. The level and speed of the river today was extraordinary – we woke up in about a foot of water.”
“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,” he added.