Severe storm kills six in Corsica as island new alert

Severe storm kills six in Corsica as island new alert
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PARIS, August 18 (Reuters) – A severe and unexpected storm hit the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on Thursday, killing at least six people, including a teenage girl, and meteorologists predicted worse weather to come.

Hail, heavy rain and winds reaching 224 kilometers per hour (140 mph) swept the island earlier in the day. Two people lost their lives as a result of the falling trees in the camp areas.

“Storms at sea will affect large parts of the western Corsican coast overnight from Thursday to Friday,” the Meteo France forecaster said. Said.

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

Visiting Corsica, Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin added that at one point about 350 people were reported missing due to the capsized or drifting of their excursion boats, but that all of them are now alive and well.

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

“We’ve never seen storms this big, you’d think it was a tropical storm,” said Cedric Boell, manager of Les Gones Corses restaurant in northern Corsica, who saw two pleasure boats launch into nearby rocks.

Wildlife photographer Yolhan Niveau, 24, who stayed at a campground near San-Nicolao in the northeast of the island, said the storm tore the area, uprooted trees and damaged mobile homes.

“There was no warning. … I’m not afraid of just astonishment. No one expected that,” Niveau said.

Two people were killed when trees fell in central Italy on Thursday as severe storms ravaged many areas. Read more


The storm hit many areas of France, hit by heatwaves and severe drought, as it saw more rain in a few hours than in the past months combined.

A 13-year-old girl died when a tree fell at a campsite in South Corsica, and a 72-year-old woman died when her car crashed into the roof of a beach hut, authorities said.

Authorities said a 46-year-old Frenchman died when a tree fell in a camping bungalow in the north. A 23-year-old Italian woman was injured at the same place and was hospitalized in critical condition.

A fisherman and a canoeer were also killed, officials said. Interior Minister Darmanin did not elaborate on the sixth death.

Meteo France, which says the exact location of storms is difficult to predict, had not given any advance warning. It issued a warning with “immediate effect” as strong winds began to hit the island.

In mainland France, streets were flooded in Marseille on Wednesday evening and streams of water rushed down the steps in the port city, as households were left without power following a storm that hit the southern Loire and Ain regions, videos shared on social media showed.

Farther north, the Loire river, famous for its castles along its banks, has been rendered so shallow by drought that even flat-bottomed tourist barges can barely move. Read more

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

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