Europe storms: Deaths are reported in France, Austria and Italy

Powerful storms have battered areas of central and southern Europe, killing at least 12 people including three children.

The deaths, most from falling trees, were reported in Italy and Austria, and on the French island of Corsica.

Heavy rain and winds wrecked campsites on the island, while in Venice, Italy, masonry was blown off the belltower of St Mark’s Basilica.

The storms follow weeks of heatwave and drought across much of the continent.

In Corsica, winds gusting up to 224 km/h (140mph) uprooted trees and damaged mobile homes.

Authorities there said a 13-year-old girl was killed by a falling tree on a campsite.

A man died in a similar incident and a 72-year-old woman was killed when her car was hit by the detached roof of a beach hut.

Two other people, a fisherman and a female kayaker, died out at sea.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who arrived in Corsica on Thursday, said 20 people had been injured – four of them seriously.

Several campsites were evacuated on Thursday…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk