The whirlwind “hit and overturned six cars”, the agency said in a post on Facebook, with photographs showing one vehicle thrown against a house and another lying battered in a field.
The two dead were an off-duty fireman and an 86-year-old man, both of whom were driving their cars as the winds hit the tiny volcanic outcrop, a tourist hotspot which lies closer to North Africa than Italy.
The wind ripped down a coastal road in seconds, according to media reports. “It was an apocalyptic sight,” an unnamed paramedic at the scene told ANSA news agency.
A hospital helicopter from nearby Lampedusa island was ready to provide assistance once the weather improved, it said.
According to the Civil Protection Agency, nine others were injured, four of whom remain in critical condition.