Two people were killed and 12 others injured when strong winds and hail hit the French island of Corsica, while storms have left about 1,000 households without electricity in mainland France.
Parts of France have had more rain in just a few hours than in all of the recent months, with substantial flooding a result after weeks of heatwaves and drought degraded the soil’s capacity to absorb water.
Corsica, a key tourist destination, on Thursday became the centre of a low-pressure area marked by intense storms with hail, heavy rain and winds of more than 220 kilometres per hour (136 miles per hour), according to a spokesman for the prefecture.
A girl aged 13 and a 72-year-old woman were killed, the prefect’s office said, adding that 12 people were injured.
Meanwhile, grid operator Enedis said about 1,000 households were without electricity after a storm destroyed some infrastructure in the southern Loire and Ain departments.
On Wednesday evening in Marseille, streets were flooded and streams of water ran down steps in the port city, videos shared on social media showed.
Further north in France, drought has left the river Loire, famous for the castles along its banks, so shallow that even its flat-bottom tourist barges can barely navigate it.