Violent storm kills six on Corsica as island raises new alert

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PARIS, Aug. 18 (Reuters) – A violent and unexpected storm ravaged the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on Thursday, killing at least six people, including a teenage girl, and meteorologists forecasting more bad weather to come.

Hail, heavy rain and winds peaking at 224 kph (140 mph) swept the island early in the day. Two of the victims died when trees fell on campsites.

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

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

During a visit to Corsica, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at one point about 350 people had been reported missing because pleasure boats had capsized or drifted, but he added that 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 such huge storms, you’d think it was a tropical storm,” said Cedric Boell, manager of the restaurant Les Gones Corses in northern Corsica, who saw two pleasure boats throwing on nearby rocks.

Yolhan Level, 24, a wildlife photographer staying at a campground near San-Nicolao in the northeast of the island, said the storm ripped through the site, uprooting trees and damaging mobile homes.

“There was no warning. … I don’t feel scared, just bewilderment. Nobody expected this,” Level said.

Two people were killed by falling trees in central Italy on Thursday as powerful storms hit several regions. read more

‘TORNADO-LIKE GUARDS’

The storm was raging as many areas of France – hit by heatwaves and severe drought – have seen more rain in a few hours than in recent months combined.

In southern Corsica, a 13-year-old girl died 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.

A 46-year-old Frenchman died when a tree fell on a camping bungalow in the north, authorities said. A 23-year-old Italian woman was injured at the same location and was taken to hospital in critical condition.

A fisherman and one canoeing also died, authorities said. Interior Minister Darmanin did not give details about the sixth death.

Meteo France, which said the exact location of storms was difficult to predict, had not warned in advance. It issued a warning with “immediate effect” when strong winds began to hit the island.

In mainland France, households were left without power after a storm hit the southern departments of Loire and Ain, while streets in Marseille were flooded on Wednesday evening and streams of water cascaded down the steps of the port city, videos posted on social media show. are shared.

Further north, drought has made the Loire River, famous for the castles that line its banks, so shallow that even flat-bottomed tourist ships could barely pass through it. read more

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

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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