Six tourists killed by tornadoes and hailstorms in Greece

11 Juillet, 2019, 16:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Six tourists killed as severe weather hits northern Greece

Police said around 140 people were injured, majority slightly, in Wednesday's storm in the northern Halkidiki peninsula.

"We had a severe storm in Halkidiki Greece and the night turned into day from the lightning".

At least six foreign nationals, including two children, have been killed and dozens of other people injured after a powerful storm raged over northern Greece, flipping over vehicles, snapping trees and collapsing roofs.

A state of emergency was declared in the region, a three-finger peninsula near the northern city of Thessaloniki popular with tourists in the summer.

Police confirmed the victims were a 54-year-old woman and her 8-year-old son from Romania, who were having dinner in a taverna at Nea Plagia, a Russian man and his 2-year-old son who were hit by a tree and an elderly couple from the Czech Republic.

Streets in towns in the area were dotted with uprooted pine trees and overturned motorcycles, photographs posted on websites showed.

A witness quoted by broadcaster ERT said the freak storm had lasted only for about 20 minutes. "We mourn for the loss of these souls", said the citizen protection minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, overseeing operations in the area.

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Greece usually experiences hot and dry months over the summer period.

Two of those who died were killed when high winds overturned their recreational vehicle, while another two - a child and his mother - were hit by an outdoor restaurant's lean-to roof that collapsed.

Athansios Kaltsas, the director of the Nea Moudania Medical Centre, told Greek television that it was "the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this".

A auto is seen under an outdoor shop's lean-to roof after a storm at Nea Plagia village in Halkidiki region, northern Greece.

"It was so abrupt, and so sudden", he added. Some suffered head injuries from trees and other falling objects, he said.

Almost 30 people have been hospitalised in nearby Thessaloniki, including a 13-year-old girl from Serbia. There were widespread power cuts. "Climate change is an accelerated and self-sustaining cycle that creates new hazards, with increased duration and intensity".

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