The death toll resulting from the relentless rainstorms that battered parts of Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria surged to 14 on Wednesday. The catastrophe struck with an unexpected fury, unleashing flash floods, devastation, and despair in its wake.
Northwestern Turkey near the border with Bulgaria bore the brunt of the disaster, as a flash flood at a campsite claimed at least five lives, with three more bodies discovered on Wednesday. Bungalow homes were carried away by the raging waters, and rescue teams continued their frantic search for a missing individual at the campsite, clinging to hope in the face of adversity.
In Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, two more lives were tragically lost as Tuesday’s storms inundated hundreds of homes and workplaces across several neighborhoods. Among the victims was a 32-year-old Guinean citizen, trapped within the confines of his basement apartment in the Kucukcekmece district, according to Turkish broadcaster HaberTurk TV. Another victim, a 57-year-old woman, met a watery grave after being swept away by the relentless floods in a different neighborhood, as reported by the private DHA news agency.
The surge of floodwaters left an indelible mark on Istanbul, affecting over 1,750 homes and businesses, according to the Istanbul governor’s office. Among the casualties was a line of shops in the Ikitelli district, where parked vehicles and mud were mercilessly dragged into furniture stores, leaving destruction in their wake, as detailed by DHA.
Tragic Toll Rises to 14 in Deadly Rainstorms Across Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria
Rainstorms wreaked havoc across Southern Europe, leaving a trail of destruction and claiming the lives of at least 14 people in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. The torrential downpours led to severe flooding, landslides, and widespread damage to infrastructure.
In Greece, the island of Crete experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in decades, causing rivers to burst their banks and submerging villages. The picturesque town of Chania was particularly hard hit, with local authorities scrambling to evacuate residents from flooded homes. The Greek government has declared a state of emergency in affected areas and has launched relief efforts to provide aid and support to those affected.
Turkey also faced the wrath of the powerful rainstorms, with numerous regions witnessing flash floods and mudslides. The coastal city of Izmir was severely impacted, with streets turning into rivers and vehicles being swept away by the force of the water. Emergency teams, including search and rescue personnel, are working tirelessly to assist affected individuals and mitigate further damage.
Meanwhile, in Bulgaria, heavy rains triggered landslides in several mountainous areas, leaving roads blocked and isolating some communities. The towns of Varna and Burgas on the Black Sea coast experienced extensive flooding, leading to the evacuation of residents and tourists. Authorities are actively engaged in clearing debris and providing aid to affected individuals.
As these countries grapple with the devastating aftermath of the rainstorms, international cooperation and support are crucial in assisting their recovery efforts. The affected nations, along with organizations such as the United Nations and the Red Cross, are joining forces to provide immediate assistance to those impacted by this natural disaster.
Sadly, the death toll continues to rise as search and rescue operations are ongoing. The focus now remains on safeguarding affected communities, assessing the extent of the damage, and initiating long-term measures to prevent such tragic events in the future.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in these catastrophic rainstorms. May they find solace and strength during this difficult time.
Reports from Turkish media about the impact of rainstorms also depicted a parking area for containers and trucks on the city’s outskirts, where individuals found refuge atop the roof of a restaurant, desperately seeking safety amidst the relentless deluge.
Across the Aegean Sea in Greece, record-breaking rainfall wreaked havoc, claiming at least three lives near the central city of Volos and in Karditsa, further to the west, according to the fire service. The grim search continued for three missing individuals, adding to the mounting distress.
In response to the calamity, authorities imposed a traffic ban in Volos, the nearby mountain region of Pilion, and the resort island of Skiathos. Many households on Skiathos remained without electricity and running water on Wednesday, while traffic bans also extended to two additional regions in central Greece near Volos. Meteorologists warned that the storms were forecasted to persist until at least Thursday afternoon, further exacerbating the plight of those affected.
Bulgaria, too, found itself grappling with the devastating consequences of the storm, as floods ravaged the country’s southern Black Sea coast. The grim news of two more recovered bodies from the sea on Wednesday brought the total death toll to four.
Dramatic videos emerged, capturing cars and camper vans being mercilessly swept out to sea in the southern resort town of Tsarevo. Local authorities had no choice but to declare a state of emergency as most of the rivers in the region breached their banks, with several bridges succumbing to the deluge, causing severe traffic disruptions.
Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova highlighted the widespread impact, revealing that about 4,000 people were affected by the disaster along the entire southern stretch of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. She expressed concern over the challenges of transporting tourists, citing the dangerous conditions on flooded roads, adding yet another layer of complexity to the already dire situation. As these three nations grapple with the aftermath of the rainstorms, communities unite in grief while seeking to rebuild their shattered lives.