Flood deaths in Greece, Türkiye and Bulgaria rise to 18

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The strong storm that has hit southeastern Europe since last Monday has caused 18 dead in Greece, Türkiye and Bulgariawhile Greek rescue teams continue to search for others five missing citizens. “Our country is dealing with a phenomenon that we have not seen in the past,” declared the Greek Government spokesman, Pavlos Marinakis. The Greek authorities indicated that in Athens and the peripheral regions it has rained in a period of twelve hours double the average annual rainfall. “The recorded rainfall levels seem unreal. In some areas they have exceeded 500 millimeters of rain in one day, when the annual amount of rain in Athens is about 400 millimeters,” he told the newspaper. Kathimerini Kostas Lagouvardos, meteorologist at the National Observatory of Athens. One millimeter of rain corresponds to one liter of water on a surface area of ​​one square meter.

In the last two days, Greek firefighters have rescued more than 800 citizens trapped in basements, in their cars in the middle of flooded roads and even on the roofs of their houses after their streets became a great torrent of water. At least four people have died in Volos and Karditsa, two cities north of Athens. In the region, storms have destroyed a bridge, collapsed electricity poles and swept away dozens of cars. “It’s literally a sea. We need help to come and get us. We are on the roof of a community office. We don’t know what to do, we don’t have water, we don’t have food,” a local resident told Greek radio station Alpha. In Volos a hundred people have been transferred to other cities after the rains flooded a nursing home. In Athens, the rains have flooded several metro stops and collapsed bus transportation. The Greek Prime Minister Kyriako Mitsotakisdescribed the rain storm as an “extreme phenomenon” that punishes the country after suffering heat waves and the worst burst of fire of the history of the country. The storm is expected to continue until early Friday morning, with special intensity in the center of the country.

In the neighbor Türkiye, strong storms occurred in the west of the country between Tuesday night and Wednesday, causing ten deaths and more than a dozen injuries. In the province of Kirklareli, near the border with Bulgaria, a torrent of water devastated a tourist area, killing five people. In istanbul, the downpour mainly affected the European part of the city, with 130 liters per square meter falling in a few hours. Two people died after being trapped by floods. The water overflowed streams in several neighborhoods of the city, causing damage to more than 1,700 homes and businesses, according to the city government. Governor Davut Gül warned that on Tuesday night an amount equivalent to three months of rain fell in the city and assured that the authorities will provide shelter to those affected by the floods. On the other hand, last Monday a storm in the central province of Aksaray caused the death of three citizens.

The storm also affected the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, which had not seen such heavy rainfall for decades. As in Greece, the rains have overflowed rivers, damaged bridges and cut off several accesses to southern cities, collapsing the usual transportation of citizens and the movement of tourists on the coast. “It is a disaster. The steep terrain (along the coast) is very dangerous. We need long-term solutions (in the area),” declared the prime minister. Nikolay Denkov.

Emergency teams indicated that this is the worst storm recorded since 1994. At least four people have died from the floods. Two of the bodies were recovered early Wednesday in the Black Sea, after the torrent of water swept them away.

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