Three dead in violent storm in Corsica

PARIS (Portal) – Three people, including a teenager and an elderly woman, were killed on Thursday by a violent storm that unleashed gale force winds that battered Corsica and left 45,000 homes without power.

Hail, torrential rain and winds that peaked at 140 mph lashed the French island, while parts of the country, which suffered a series of heat waves and a severe drought, saw more rain in a few hours than the past few months combined.

A 13-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on a campsite and a 72-year-old woman was killed when her car was hit by the roof of a beach hut, authorities said. The third victim was killed when a tree fell on a bungalow, local newspaper Corse Matin reported.

French weather agency Météo-France said the island, a popular tourist destination, was hit by “violent storms with strong tornado-like squalls (…) causing significant damage”.

It then withdrew a large assault watch, signaling that the worst was over for the Mediterranean island.

At least 12 people were injured, one seriously, and rescue operations at sea are underway, authorities added.

In mainland France, electricity grid operator Enedis reported that about 1,000 homes were without power after the storm destroyed some infrastructure in the Loire and Ain departments in the south of the country.

Streets were flooded in Marseille on Wednesday evening and streams of water ran down the port city’s stairs, according to videos shared on social networks.

Further north, the drought has flattened the Loire, famous for the châteaux that line its banks, so flat that even their flat-bottomed tourist barges can barely navigate it.