Greece, Turkey downpours leave several dead

At least seven people have died after torrential rains caused flash flooding in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. The deluge comes on the heels of extreme heat over the summer

Greece, Turkey downpours leave several dead (photo: DW)
Greece, Turkey downpours leave several dead (photo: DW)


At least seven people have died after heavy rains triggered major flooding in central Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

The Greek fire department said a man was killed near the central town of Volos, which was hit particularly hard by the rains.

The nearby mountain village of Pelion and the resort island of Skiathos were also badly affected.

Government spokesman Yannis Artopios told Greek public broadcaster ERT that the basement of Volos hospital was flooded. Firefighters were "in the process of pumping out the water," he said on 5 September.

The damage from the storm is yet to be fully assessed.

"The amount of rain that fell in 24 hours is the same as the usual rainfall for the whole of autumn," meteorologist Panagiotis Giannopoulos told ERT.

Volos saw about 200 mm of rain, while neighbouring Zagora saw about 600 mm of rain, according to the National Meteorological Service.

From fires to flooding

The rains come on the heels of the wildfires that took a toll on the region earlier this summer.

Northeastern Greece was also faced with a massive wildfire that destroyed vast tracts of forest and that only showed signs of easing earlier this week after burning for 17 days.

The wildfire which broke out in the Evros region near the border with Turkey has been blamed for the deaths of 20 people, all of whom are believed to have been migrants.

Scientists warn that extreme weather, including heat waves and storms, is becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Heavy rains batter Turkey, Bulgaria

Meanwhile, two people died and four others went missing after a storm battered Turkey, officials said on Tuesday.

In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, heavy rain flooded streets and homes in at least two neighbourhoods.

Turkish interior minister Ali Yerlikaya said that search teams had located two bodies and four other people were still missing after flash floods swept over a campsite in north-western Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria.

Yerlikaya said about 12 vacationers were at the site when the waters hit.

Heavy rains also hit south-western Turkey on Monday, 4 September, with lightning causing fires in 36 separate locations, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

Two deaths in Bulgaria

Farther north, in Bulgaria, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said two people died and three others went missing after a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast.

Overflowing rivers have caused severe damage to roads and bridges in the area, which also suffered power blackouts. Authorities warned residents not to drink tap water due to contamination from floodwaters.

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