Brit woman among six dead in Corsica as island hit by 140mph ‘tornado’ gusts

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AT LEAST six have been killed including a British woman after violent thunderstorms swept across the French island of Corsica yesterday.

Rescuers found the body of the holidaymaker near Bastia in the north of the island after her husband told cops she had gone missing while kayaking.

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A Brit woman was killed during the storm while kayakingCredit: Alamy

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At least six have been killed and 12 injured after the raging storm hit the island of yesterdayCredit: Alamy

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Clips showed the Corsica coastline as fierce winds hit ‘tornado-like’ speeds

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 struck by a beach hut roof, authorities have said.

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

A fisherman was the fifth to be killed while Interior Minister Darmanin did not give details on the sixth death.

Footage showed hail, heavy rain and 140mph winds battering the island with trees falling onto homes and cars while many households were left without power.

Cedric Boell, manager of the restaurant Les Gones Corses in northern Corsica, said: “We have never seen such huge storms as this, you would think it was a tropical storm.” 

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

He said: “There was no warning. … I don’t feel scared just stupefaction. No one expected this.”

Local authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of all campsites in southern Corsica last night after warnings of another wave of storms.

On France’s mainland, households were left without power following the ‘tornado-like’ gusts hitting the southern Loire and Ain departments.

The streets of Marseille were flooded and streams of water ran down steps in the port city in videos shared on social media.

Central Italy was also affected with two people killed by falling trees on Thursday as powerful storms battered several regions.

‘TORNADO-LIKE GUSTS’

The storm raged in many areas of France with more rain falling in a few hours than in recent months combined.

The national meteorological service, Meteo France, said that the exact location of storms was hard to predict after criticism that they had not given advance warning.

It issued an alert with “immediate effect” as strong winds began to hit the island a few days ago.

They said: “Storms formed at sea will affect large parts of the western Corsica coast throughout the night from Thursday to Friday,”

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

Prime Minister, Elizabeth Borne, has also pulled together a crisis unit to help with the devastation in the wake of the killer storm.

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

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Footage showed airport equipment being blown across the runway

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Campsites were hit hard by the severe wind and rain with two campers being killedCredit: Alamy

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Pictures showed the damage left by the storm that came without warningCredit: Alamy

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