Vast rainstorms have hit Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria as Storm Daniel batters the neighbouring countries.
Extreme flooding has taken over towns, villages and cities, with multiple fatalities reported and many people missing after being swept away by the water.
In the town of Volos, the mountain region of Pilion and the resort island of Skiathos, the Greek police has banned traffic, as the rainfall created thigh-high torrents in the streets, sweeping cars away.
Greece’s weather service said a Pilion village received 75.4 centimetres of rain late Tuesday, by far the highest level recorded since at least 2006. It noted that the average annual rainfall in the Athens region is around 40 centimetres.
“It’s the most extreme weather in terms of the amount of rainfall within 24 hours since records have been kept in the country,” said Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
He said the heavy rain was expected to ease up after midday Wednesday and advised people in affected areas to stay indoors.
Authorities sent cellphone alerts in several other areas of central Greece, the Sporades Islands and the island of Evia warning people to limit their movements outdoors.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed both the wildfires and storms on climate change. “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,” he said.
Two holidaymakers were swept away by a torrent that went through a campsite in northwestern Turkey.
Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said four other people were missing after the flash flood swept over the campsite in Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria. He said about 12 holidaymakers were at the site when the waters hit.
Search teams had located two bodies he said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The search and rescue efforts for the missing four continue uninterrupted,” he added.
In the capital Istanbul, heavy rain flooded streets and homes in two neighbourhoods, leaving at least two dead, according to the governor’s office. Around a dozen people were rescued after being stranded inside a library, while some subway stations were shut down. Istanbul Governor Davut Gul urged motorcyclists to stay home.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said two people died and three others were missing after a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast.
Overflowing rivers caused severe damage to roads and bridges. The area also suffered power blackouts, and authorities warned residents not to drink tap water due to contamination from floodwaters.
This is an ongoing and developing situation. The information in this article is correct at time of writing.