PARIS — A violent storm hit the French island of Corsica on Thursday morning, killing three people and injuring a dozen, local authorities said.

A 13-year-old girl died after a tree fell on 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 is a 46-year-old man killed in a campsite in the town of Calvi. One of the 12 people injured was hospitalized in critical condition, the prefecture added.

The storm produced wind gusts of more than 220 km/h (136 mph) in some areas, France’s national weather agency Météo France said. About 45,000 homes were without electricity in Corsica, according to the French electricity company EDF.

Rescue operations were taking place along the west coast of Corsica to help several stranded and wrecked vessels, France’s maritime authority for the Mediterranean Sea tweeted.

The President of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, described a brief but “extremely violent and totally unpredictable” weather event which lasted “tens of minutes”.

Simeoni told news channel BFM TV that French President Emmanuel Macron called him to share “emotion” and “solidarity”. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin tweeted that he planned to visit the island later on Thursday.

After a summer of drought, heat waves and forest fires, violent storms have hit France and neighboring countries in recent days.

In southern France, thunderstorms flooded the Old Port of Marseille and the city’s main courthouse on Wednesday and forced the closure of nearby beaches. Winds of over 100 km/h (60 mph) were recorded at the top of the Eiffel Tower during a flash flood on Tuesday.

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

Thursday morning’s storm hit during Italy’s busiest beach holiday week. Sestri Levanti Mayor Valentina Ghio said whirlwinds were expected and she called on visitors to stay away from the beaches until the bad weather had passed.

Walnut-sized hailstones hit areas of the Liguria region with enough force to shatter house windows and damage orchards and gardens.

As northern Italy suffered its worst drought in decades this year, heavy rains in recent days that brought scattered hailstorms, whirlwinds and floods damaged or destroyed entire crops of fruit and vegetables as well as vineyards and olive groves, according to Italian agricultural lobby Coldiretti.


Colleen Barry in Milan contributed to this.


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