At least two people were killed after a tornado swept through the touristy Italian island of Pantelleria.
Nine others were injured when the tornado ripped through the roofs of houses and overturned cars.
Local media reported that the tornado ripped down a coastal road. One rescue worker described the scene as ‘apocalyptic’.
An off-duty fireman is among the dead, the civil protection agency said. Both he and the other victim, an 86-year-old man, were driving their cars at the time, Ansa news agency reports.
Emergency workers are planning to transfer the wounded to hospitals in the city of Palermo by helicopter once weather conditions improve.
The Mediterranean island of Pantelleria is the largest volcanic satellite island of Sicily. The last eruption occurred below sea level in 1891, and today phenomena related to volcanic activity can be observed, such as hot springs and fumaroles.
It is one a favourite spot for celebrities and famous personalities to spend their vacations.
While tornadoes are not typically associated with Europe, several hundred are believed to hit the continent every year. Many go unreported as they hit remote rural areas. A last major whirlwind hit the Czech Republic earlier this year, killing five people and injuring 150 others.