Six Tourists Killed, 30 Injured By Tornadoes, Hailstorms In Greece

Elias Hubbard
July 11, 2019

Tornadoes and violent hailstorms killed six tourists in northern Greece late Wednesday, the police said.

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.

"Six tourists were killed and at least 30 people were injured during this cyclone", Charalambos Steriadis, head of civil protection in northern Greece, said.

Two Russian nationals, a man and young boy, were also killed after they were caught under a collapsed tree.

Videos captured by local media showed the storm damage, including vehicles crushed by uprooted trees and debris, and roofs that had been ripped off buildings.

A 60-year-old fisherman was reported missing in the sea area of Kallikrateia.

A witness quoted by broadcaster ERT said the freak storm had lasted only for about 20 minutes.

"It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this", Athansios Kaltsas, director of the Nea Moudania Medical Center, where numerous injured were treated for fractures, told Greek television.

Fierce winds and hail hit the popular tourist Halkidiki region, near the city of Thessaloniki, yesterday evening.

"It was so abrupt, and so sudden".

A state of emergency was put in place on the Halkidiki peninsula amid what has been described by meteorologists as "extremely unusual" conditions for the time of year.

Weather of this kind is not the norm in Greece at this time of year, when it is typically hot and dry.

At least 140 firefighters were operating in the area. Meteorologists forecast it would continue to rain in the area into Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, authorities declared Halkidiki in a state of emergency, and Greece's newly appointed citizens' protection minister was due to visit early on Thursday.

Temperatures had soared to around 37C (98.6F) in the days leading up to the storm.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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