Two killed, 12 injured as storms hit Corsica

Updates casualties, adds detail

PARIS, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Two people were killed and 12 were injured when strong winds and hail hit the French island of Corsica on Thursday, while storms left some 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 major flooding a result after weeks or heatwaves and drought degraded the soil's capacity to absorb water.

Corsica, a major tourist destination, became the centre of a low-pressure area marked by intense storms with hail, heavy rain and winds of more than 220 km per hour (136 mph), a spokesman for the prefecture said.

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.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel, additional reporting by Myriam Rivet Editing by Ingrid Melander, Robert Birsel)

((tassilo.hummel@thomsonreuters.com ; Twitter handle: @tassilo_hummel;))

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