Two Germans indicted in France over flooded youth campground

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A French judge handed preliminary charges Saturday to two Germans whose group ran an unauthorized campsite in southern France that was inundated by flash floods, forcing the emergency evacuation of 119 children.

Almost 120 children were evacuated from the site as emergency teams helped around 750 people to safety across the Gard area.

Collomb, the interior minister, said in a statement that 1,600 people were evacuated as a precaution in the Gard, the Ardeche and the Drome regions.

The Ardeche, Gard and Drôme regions have been hardest hit so far.

Divers have not found a 66-year-old holidaymaker who sought refuge from the swollen river in his caravan, only to be swept away. However, Mr. Dousset, the top aide of the Gard administration, said no one knew for certain yet that the man was in his van at the time.

"No one has suitcases".

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Four German children suffering from hypothermia were taken to hospital in Bagnols-sur-Ceze, about 65 miles away from Montpellier. "We just have what we're wearing", Rita Mauersberger, a visitor from Germany who was among the campers taking shelter in a local hall in Saint-Julien-de-Peyrolas, told France Info radio.

Supported by four helicopters, more than 400 firefighters and paramilitary officers were mobilized for the rescue operation.

UK Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said almost 3in of rain fell over the area in 24 hours.

Heavy rain meant tents were destroyed, while about 17,000 homes were without power.

It's been advised that locals give time for flood waters to recede, and keep an eye on local weather reports before they travel.

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