At least seven people including two tourists were killed on Tuesday as a result of severe flooding triggered by fierce rainstorms that battered neighbouring Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.
Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to announce that two people lost their lives while four others were missing after the flash flood swept over the campsite in Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria.
“The search and rescue efforts for the missing (four) continue uninterrupted,” he added in his social media post.
Rescuers were seen on television footage lifting a young girl and an adult out of some places’ waist-high water. Meanwhile, Turkish news channel, HaberTurk reported that a major road was also damaged by the rain and had to be closed.
After becoming trapped inside a library, about a dozen individuals were rescued, and certain tube stations were closed as Governor Davut Gul of Istanbul urged riders to stay at home as a precaution, Al-Jazeera reported.
On the other side, in Greece, a man died as a result of record rainfall channelling thigh-high torrents through streets and sweeping cars away prompting police to ban traffic in the central town of Volos, the nearby mountain region of Pilion and the resort island of Skiathos, Al-Jazeera reported.
According to the fire department, one man was killed near Volos when a wall buckled and fell on him, while five others were reported missing, possibly swept away by floodwaters.
As Central Greece experienced flooding, authorities sent alerts to limit outdoor activities because streams overflowed banks, cars swept into the sea, and rockfalls blocked roads. A small bridge was lost, and electricity cuts occurred in many areas. Authorities evacuated a retirement home in Volos as a precaution.
Greece experienced a record high of 75.4 centimetres of rain in a Pilion region village, the highest recorded level since 2006. The average annual rainfall in the Athens region is around 40 centimetres.
However, the heavy rain is expected to ease after midday Wednesday, and people are advised to stay indoors to avoid the storm that comes after major summer wildfires that destroyed vast tracts of forest and farmland, killing over 20 people.
The wildfires and storms in Greece were attributed to climate change by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who also acknowledged that his government “clearly didn’t manage things as well as we would have liked” in terms of the wildfire front.
“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 Tuesday.
Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov of Bulgaria, in the farther north, reported that a storm-caused flood on the nation’s southern Black Sea coast left two people dead and three others missing.
Roads and bridges were severely damaged by overflowing rivers prompting warnings issued by authorities to locals not to drink the tap water owing to floodwater contamination, and the region also experienced power outages.
In tourist areas, 2-meter (6-foot) waves were slammed onto beaches by strong winds and torrential rain that inundated homes and streets.
In the most severely affected southern resort town of Tsarevo, TV footage showed automobiles and camper vans being swept out to sea. In Tsarevo, authorities declared a state of emergency and asked residents to move upstairs since some hotels’ first floors were flooded.