Storms that unleashed torrential flooding in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria have killed at least 11 people, authorities said Wednesday, as extreme heat gave way to heavy rain.
High waters in northwestern Turkey, including Istanbul, turned streets into rushing rivers, while floods struck Greece as it recovers from massive wildfires.
“I have never seen anything like this, thousands of shops and buildings have been flooded in Volos and no one is here to help us”, Vassilis Tsalamouras, a 58-year-old resident of the central Greek city, told AFP.
As the world warms, the atmosphere contains more water vapour which increases the risk of heavy precipitation in some parts of the world, notably in Asia, Western Europe and Latin America.
Combined with other factors such as urbanisation and land-use planning, these more intense rainfall events contribute to flooding.
The storm, dubbed “Daniel” by Greek meteorologists, has been battering the country since Monday, mainly affecting the central Magnesia region and its capital city Volos, 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of Athens.
An 87-year-old woman missing since Tuesday was found dead on Wednesday in the village of Paltsi in Magnesia, fire department spokesman Yannis Artopios told public broadcaster Ert.
On Tuesday, a 51-year-old man was found dead near Volos after being swept away by a rising torrent.
Electricity has been out in Volos since Tuesday morning, while buildings and roads in nearby villages have been severely damaged by landslides and flooding, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.