A deadly storm struck northern Greece yesterday (Wednesday 10 July) without warning, causing six fatalities.
An elderly couple were killed when their vehicle was overturned by high winds, a mother and son were killed when an outdoor restaurant’s roof collapsed, and a father and son were killed by falling trees.
According to emergency service officials, a further 65 people have been injured, with 35 taken to hospital.
Witnesses stated that the storm lasted around 20 minutes, during which time people frantically sought shelter. A state of emergency was declared, and around 140 rescue workers were deployed.
The Nea Moudania Medical Centre treated many people injured by the storm. “It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this," said the Centre’s Director Athansios Kaltsas. “It was so abrupt, so sudden.”
The storm is believed to have been caused by high temperatures, which reached 37°C (98.6°F) over the past two days.
Michalis Chrisochoidis, the citizen protection minister overseeing operations in the area, extended his condolences to those affected by the tragic incident: “I want to express my sorrow on behalf of all … we mourn for the loss of these souls. We are in solidarity with their relatives, with the people who have lost their families.”
At the time of writing, travel advice has not been updated. If travellers have concerns they can talk to their insurer, local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.