Six dead, dozens injured as strong storm hits N. Greece

A strong storm hit northern Greece on Wednesday evening, leaving six people dead, dozens injured and a fisherman missing, as well as material damages, the country’s fire service and the Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Six people have lost their lives in the bad weather, which seriously struck the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece, near the country’s second largest city Thessaloniki.

No information on the nationalities of the victims was given, while local media reported that they were tourists on vacation in seaside resorts.

The fire service received about 600 calls for help to assist stranded motorists, pump up water from houses and clear trees and electricity pylons toppled by the storm, and several communities were affected by power outages.

After a 63-year-old fisherman was reported missing, the Coast Guard also launched a rescue operation in the sea area off the peninsula to locate him.

Since meteorologists warned that more storms may hit northern Greece in the coming hours, a state of emergency has been declared for Halkidiki, with ministers and other officials being dispatched to supervise emergency operations.

“The region has not been hit by such strong winds in the past century. It was like a bomb blast. There are many material damages as well,” Grigoris Tassios, president of Halkidiki’s Hotel Association, told local media.