Violent storm kills six in Corsica as island prompts new alert

Violent storm kills six in Corsica as island prompts new alert

PARIS, Aug 18 (Portal) – A violent and unexpected storm battered the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on Thursday, killing at least six people including a teenage girl and forecasters were predicting more bad weather.

Hail, torrential rain and winds peaking at 224 km/h (140 mph) swept across the island early in the day. Two of the victims were killed when trees fell in campsites.

“Storms formed at sea will hit large parts of the west coast of Corsica during the night from Thursday to Friday,” said the weather forecaster of France.

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French President Emmanuel Macron said he called an emergency government meeting via video conference on Thursday evening to respond to the crisis.

Visiting Corsica, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that at one point around 350 people had been reported missing because pleasure boats had capsized or drifted away, but he added they had all now been found alive and well.

Witnesses to the morning storm, which destroyed campsites, delayed trains and uprooted trees, said they had never seen anything like it on the island.

“We’ve never seen storms as big as this one, you’d think it would be a tropical storm,” said Cedric Boell, manager of Les Gones Corses restaurant in northern Corsica, who saw two pleasure boats being hurled onto nearby rocks.

Yolhanlev, 24, a wildlife photographer staying at a campground near San-Nicolao in the island’s northeast, said the storm tore through the terrain, uprooting trees and damaging mobile homes.

“There was no warning. …I’m not afraid, just amazed. Nobody expected it,” saidlev.

View of heavy rain from a balcony hitting the Mediterranean island of Corsica, France on August 18, 2022. Twitter @EtienneMarie1 via Portal

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In central Italy, two people were killed by falling trees on Thursday as violent storms battered several regions. Continue reading

“TORNADO-LIKE GUSTS”

The storm raged as many areas of France hit by heat waves and severe drought saw more rain in a matter of hours than in recent months combined.

In southern Corsica, a 13-year-old girl died when a tree fell at a campsite and a 72-year-old woman was killed when her car was hit by a beach hut roof, authorities said.

A 46-year-old French man died when a tree fell on a campsite bungalow in the north, authorities said. A 23-year-old Italian woman was injured in the same spot and taken to hospital in critical condition.

A fisherman and someone traveling by canoe also died, authorities said. Interior Minister Darmanin did not give details of the sixth death.

Meteo France, which said the exact location of storms is difficult to predict, had given no advance warning. It issued an “effective immediately” warning when strong winds began to hit the island.

In mainland France, households were left without power after a storm battered the southern Loire and Ain departments, while streets were flooded in Marseille on Wednesday night and streams of water ran down stairs in the port city, videos shared on social media showed.

Further north, the drought has flattened the River Loire, famous for the castles that line its banks, to the point that even flat-bottomed tourist boats could hardly navigate it. Continue reading

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Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Myriam Rivet, Matthieu Prottard, Layli Foroudi, Marc Angrand and Geert De Clercq; writing by Ingrid Melander; Edited by John Stonestreet, Nick Macfie and Jonathan Oatis

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