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Sunday, October 15, 2023

Eight dead as extreme storms flood Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria

Eight people died due to fierce storms ↗ and floods that battered Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria this Tuesday. The strong current swept cars and other vehicles into the sea and the floods turned the roads into rivers.

Ali Yerlikaya, the Turkish interior minister, said four other people have been reported missing after a flash flood at a campsite in Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria.

In Bulgaria, a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast, leaving two people dead. Three others went missing, and TV footage showed cars and camper vans being swept out to sea in the southern town of Tsarevo.

In Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, heavy rain flooded the streets and homes across two neighbourhoods, leaving at least two people dead. Rescue teams saved roughly a dozen people after being stranded in a library.

At least one person has lost their life due to the extreme floods in Greece, where severe rainstorms and widespread flooding have led to people being rescued from their submerged vehicles and houses.

Greece’s weather service said a Pelion region village received 75.4 centimetres of rain late on Tuesday – by far the highest level recorded since at least 2006.

One man died after a wall collapsed and fell on him in Volos, a city in which the Greek police have ordered a traffic ban, and another man was reported missing after his car was swept away by floodwaters.

Flooding has also been reported in the villages of Agria, Portaria, Tsangarada and Stagiates, where the electricity supply was unstable.

Skiathos has experienced the worst of Storm Daniel, with flights to the island being cancelled or delayed as the severe storm brought extensive rainfall and lightning across the island.

Several Jet2 flights were cancelled while a service from Stanstead was forced to divert to Thessaloniki on Monday. Tourists at Skiathos were told to stay in their hotels amidst the severe weather warnings.

A message posted on the Jet2 website at 4 a.m. today said: “We are sorry to inform you that due to the current and forecasted weather affecting the island of Skiathos, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel your flight and/or your entire package holiday tomorrow.”

Six flights back to the UK were cancelled because of the floods in Greece.

Dangerous sea conditions have also forced ferries to and from the island to be halted, leaving many passengers unsure whether they will be able to catch their flights home over the next few days.

This comes days after extreme heat waves which have caused deadly wildfires in Greece, burning for over two weeks, and destroying forests and farmland until brought under control in the north of the country. This led to the deaths of over 20 people, with thousands having to be evacuated from towns and villages across Greece, such as Corfu, Rhodes, Evia, Crete and the northern Peloponnese region.

A wildfire in the Evros region, which burned for more than two weeks, was brought under control this week. It was tackled by 741 firefighters, backed by 124 vehicles and two aircraft.

The Foreign Office further warns: “Very high temperatures are affecting many areas of Greece. There are active wildfires across Greece, including in populated areas on the mainland and a number of islands. Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. The situation can change quickly.”

Greek authorities sent alerts warning people to limit their movements outdoors. Search and rescue efforts continue.

The Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, blamed both the wildfires and storms on climate ↗change, admitting that his centre-right government “Clearly didn’t manage things as well as we would have liked”.

He continued: “I am afraid that the careless summers, as we knew them… will cease to exist and from now on the coming summers are likely to be ever more difficult.”

Greece’s minister for civil protection, Vassilis Kikilias, said the storms were forecast to ease after noon on Wednesday and urged people in afflicted areas to stay indoors.

James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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