Storms in Europe: girls aged 4 and 8 among a dozen killed in Austria, France and Italy
Severe storms in Europe have claimed at least a dozen lives, including two children, since Wednesday.
Five people, including two girls, aged four and eight, died as storms battered the Alpine country on Thursday evening.
The children were killed when high winds toppled trees near a lake in the Lavant Valley near the southern city of Graz.
Thirteen other people were injured, two seriously, officials said. Many victims were visiting the popular tourist area for their summer vacations.
Austrian President Alexander Van Der Bellen called the children’s deaths an “unfathomable tragedy”, while the mayor of nearby Wolfsberg, Hannes Primus, said the area looked like “a battlefield”.
Meanwhile, three women were killed when lightning struck a tree near Gaming’s Central City, knocking it down.
Gusts of 220 km / h were recorded in France on Thursday, according to the national meteorological agency.
Five people were killed on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and 45,000 homes were without electricity.
Dozens of people were injured and 12 were hospitalized, including one in critical condition, authorities said. Among the dead in Corsica was a 13-year-old girl who died after a tree fell at a campsite in the coastal town of Sagone.
A 72-year-old woman was killed when a beach restaurant roof fell on her vehicle in Coggia, and a 46-year-old man died at a campsite in the town of Calvi.
French President Emmanuel Macron chaired an inter-ministerial government meeting in response to the crisis.
At least two people have died and 18 others have been injured after strong winds battered the Italian region of Tuscany.
More than 100 people have been evacuated from their homes to stay in emergency accommodation in schools and gymnasiums, according to Italy’s civil protection agency.
A man in Lucca and a woman in Carrara were both killed by falling trees, according to Italian media.
Meanwhile, four people were injured at the Marina di Massa seaside campsite, and four others were hospitalized in the medieval town of Barga after their vehicle was hit by a damaged roof.
The storm also damaged some fragments of the famous bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Strong winds of up to 120 km/h and torrential rain downed trees and caused flooding across the country on Thursday.
Milan authorities have decided to close the city’s parks on Friday. Citizens were asked to avoid parking or walking under trees and to remove any loose objects from their balconies.
The Lazio region also forecast rain and strong winds from Thursday evening and throughout Friday.
German authorities warned of heavy rain in the south on Friday and put air rescue services on high alert.
The country’s national weather service, DWD, warned of “extremely heavy and prolonged rain” and a risk of flooding near the Alps.
The Bavarian Red Cross said it was raising the alarm level for its air rescue specialists, putting helicopter crews on heightened alert.