Three dead as strong winds hit Corsica

PARIS, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Three people, including a girl and an elderly woman, died as strong winds battered Corsica on Thursday, leaving 45,000 homes without power, authorities said.

Hail, heavy rain and winds measured to peak at 224 km per hour (140 mph) swept across the French island as parts of the country – which were hit by a series of heat waves and severe drought – saw more rain in just a few hours than in the past few months combined.

Among those killed in Corsica, a major tourist destination, were a 13-year-old girl who died when a tree fell on the campsite where she was staying and a 72-year-old woman whose car was hit by the roof of a beach hut, according to authorities. said.

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At least 12 people have been injured on the island and rescue operations are underway offshore, they added.

On the French mainland, grid operator Enedis said around 1,000 homes were without power after a storm hit the south of the Loire and Ain departments.

Streets flooded in Marseille on Wednesday evening and streams rushed down the steps of the port city, videos shared on social media showed.

Further north, drought has left the Loire, famous for its castles along its banks, so shallow that even flat-bottomed tourist barges can barely navigate it. Read more

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Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, Myriam Rivet, Matthieu Prottard Writing by Ingrid Melander and Tassilo Hummel Editing by Robert Birsel and John Stonestreet

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