VÓLOS: Storms triggered flash floods in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, authorities said on Wednesday, as extreme heat gave way to heavy rain.
High waters in northwestern Turkey, including Istanbul, turned streets into raging rivers, while Greece was hit by floods as it recovers from massive fires.
“I have never seen anything like this, thousands of shops and buildings have been flooded in Volos and nobody is here to help us,” said Vassilis Tsalamouras, a 58-year-old resident of the central Greek city. AFP.
Heavy rain and floods have claimed 22 lives in northern India
As the world warms, there is more water vapor in the atmosphere, increasing the risk of heavy rainfall in some parts of the world, particularly Asia, Western Europe and Latin America.
Combined with other factors such as urbanization and land use planning, this more intense rainfall contributes to flooding.
The storm, dubbed “Daniel” by Greek meteorologists, has been battering the country since Monday, mainly affecting the central region of Magnesia and its capital, Volos, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Athens.
An 87-year-old woman who had been missing since Tuesday was found dead in the village of Paltsi in Magnesia on Wednesday, fire department spokesman Yannis Artopios told public broadcaster Ert.
A 51-year-old man was found dead near Volos on Tuesday after being swept away by a rising torrent.
Volos has been without electricity since Tuesday morning, while buildings and roads in nearby villages were badly damaged by landslides and floods. AFP reporter on the scene.
Fires followed by floods
Torrential rains in Greece follow weeks of devastating forest fires.
“This is an extreme phenomenon,” said Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Micotakis.
A massive fire that has been raging for the past two weeks has destroyed parts of the Dadia National Park in the northern Evros region, which officials say is now under control.
In Istanbul, the downpours came after a particularly dry summer, when water reservoirs in the city of 16 million people fell to their lowest level in nine years.
The Istanbul governor’s office announced that two people had died.
Turkish emergency services have announced that four people have died and two are missing in the floods that hit the northwestern city of Kirklareli.
Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast was also hit by the heaviest rains in years, killing at least three people and leaving tourists stranded.
Heavy rain and storms overnight into Monday caused rivers to overflow, bridges to be damaged and access cut off in the region south of the coastal city of Burgas.
“It’s a disaster … the steep terrain (along the coast) creates a huge danger,” Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said, adding that “long-term solutions” would be needed to secure the area.
The rains were the heaviest since 1994, with as much rain falling in 24 hours as usual in several months, said fire chief Alexander Dzhartov.
Floods – rare on the Black Sea coast – are becoming more frequent in Bulgaria due to the impact of climate change and poor infrastructure maintenance.
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