Europe storms: Children among dead in France, Austria and Italy

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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 46-year-old man died in a similar incident and a woman in her 70s was killed when her car was hit by the detached roof of a beach hut.

Two other people, a fisherman, 62, and a female kayaker, 60, died out at sea.

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

Almost 13,000 people were evacuated from several campsites on Thursday evening and sheltered in public buildings, ahead of more expected damage. But authorities said on Friday morning that the night had passed without any major incidents.

Agencies

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