Corsica storm: British woman among five killed and dozen injured in ‘violent thunderstorm’ on French island

French island has been hit by a ‘violent thunderstorm’

A British woman has been killed after Corsica was hit by storms.

Five people died during the “violent thunderstorm” on the French island on Thursday (18 August).

A teenage girl was among the people died yesterday.

Local authorities have announced that three people have been killed and a dozen have been injured.

Here is all you need to know:

What happened on Corsica?

The Times report that a British woman died during the storm.

Rescue workers found the holidaymaker’s body off Erbalunga, near Bastia, in the north of the island, after her husband told police she had gone missing while kayaking, local media reported.

A 13-year-old girl died after a tree fell in a campsite in the coastal town of Sagone, the Corsica prefecture said in a statement.

A 72-year-old woman was killed when the roof of a beach restaurant fell on her vehicle in Coggia, south of Sagone.

The third victim was a 46-year-old man killed in a campsite in the town of Calvi.

One of the 12 people injured was hospitalised and in a critical condition, the prefecture added.

How strong was the storm?

The storm produced wind gusts of more than 136mph (220kph) in some areas, French national weather agency Meteo France said.

About 45,000 households were without power on Corsica, according to French electricity company EDF.

Rescue operations were taking place along the western coast of Corsica to help several grounded and wrecked ships, the French maritime authority for the Mediterranean Sea tweeted.

A woman starts to cut a tree who felt down in Marato, close to Cognocoli Monticchi after strong winds on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on August 18, 2022. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images)A woman starts to cut a tree who felt down in Marato, close to Cognocoli Monticchi after strong winds on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on August 18, 2022. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman starts to cut a tree who felt down in Marato, close to Cognocoli Monticchi after strong winds on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on August 18, 2022. (Photo by PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images)

What have the authorities said?

The president of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, described a brief yet “extremely violent and entirely unpredictable” weather event that lasted “dozens of minutes”.

Mr Simeoni told news broadcaster BFM TV that French president Emmanuel Macron phoned him to share “emotion” and “solidarity”.

After a summer of drought, heatwaves and forest fires, violent storms have hit France and neighbouring countries in recent days.

Where is Corsica?

It is an island in the Mediterranean Sea - the fourth largest.

Corsica is located south east of the French mainland, west of the Italian peninsula and immediately north of the island of Sardinia.

The island is dominated by a single chain of mountains which makes up two-thirds of its.

France annex the island in 1769, it had previously been part of the Republic of Genoa between 1284 and 1755.

The island has a native language known as Corsican, which is a Romance language.

Four languages are spoken on the island including French (official), Corsican, Italian and Ligurian.

Corsica was the birth place of Napoleon Bonaparte, who lived on the island until he was 9-years-old.

Have storms affected anywhere else in France?

In southern France, thunderstorms on Wednesday flooded the Old Port of Marseille and the city’s main courthouse and forced the closure of nearby beaches.

Winds over 60 mph (100kph) were recorded at the top of the Eiffel Tower during a flash flood on Tuesday.

In northern Italy, a violent overnight storm forced the closure of a train line southeast of Genoa after high winds carried changing booths and other items from nearby beaches onto the tracks, damaging the electrical circuitry.

The storm early on Thursday struck during Italy’s busiest beach holiday week.

The mayor of Sestri Levanti, Valentina Ghio, said whirlwinds were expected, and she appealed to visitors to stay away from beaches until the severe weather had passed.

Hail the size of walnuts pummelled areas of the Liguria region with enough force to break the windows of homes and damage orchards and gardens.

While northern Italy has suffered its worst drought in decades this year, heavy rains in recent days that brought scattered hailstorms, whirlwinds and flooding have damaged or destroyed entire crops of fruits and vegetables along with vineyards and olive orchards, according to Italian agricultural lobby Coldiretti.

Related topics: