Streets and houses were flooded, trees fell and cars were swept away in Thessaloniki as the city was afflicted by bad weather on Saturday, June 17.
Stormy weather hit most of the country, in the latest wave of unseasonable weather witnessed in Greece this summer.
A Romanian tourist lost his life in the sea on Lefkada island and a canyoning instructor was recovered dead from a gorge on Mount Olympus.
Citizens in danger during Thessaloniki floods
Since the early morning hours, adverse rainfall was affecting areas of Thessaloniki as far as Moudania in Chalkidiki, where power cuts occurred, and the areas of Polichni, Toumba and Diavata.
The Hellenic Fire Service had received over 300 emergency calls from regions in Northern Greece since the extreme rainfall started, a statement said at 8 a.m. local time. At least 25 water pumping operations had been carried out by that time and at least three people taken to safety.
A later account spoke of 520 emergency calls.
Several citizens were reported stranded in their vehicles.
The Fire Service also helped forty kidney patients to travel safely to and from a hemodialysis center located on a flooded street.
Local municipality services were called for the removal of debris from the streets, while residents and local officials complained on social media and Greek TV about delayed flood protection works.
Extreme weather across Greece
The extreme rainfall is the latest in a series of unseasonable weather phenomena hitting Greece this summer.
According to the updated Emergency Weather Deterioration Bulletin issued on Friday, June 16, by the National Meteorological Service (EMY), unstable air masses in the northwestern Balkans combined with shallow lows in the southern Aegean were to cause extreme weather until Sunday.
Rains and storms, accompanied by a high frequency of lightning and possibly hailstorms, are also expected to affect almost the entire country, including island areas, while the intense phenomena in the continental areas will occur mainly around midday and during the afternoon hours.
Central and eastern Macedonia, Thrace, Thessaly, Evia, central Greece, northern Peloponnese, the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean, the Dodecanese and the Ionian Islands were all affected on Saturday.
On Sunday, the bad weather is expected to be limited to the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean and Halkidiki, eastern Thessaly, the Sporades islands and Evia.
City of Kastoria requests state of emergency
According to AMNA, the mayor of the city of Kastoria, Giannis Korentzidis requested that his municipality be declared in a state of emergency, as torrential rain that has continued for days caused great destruction and damage throughout the municipality.
Floods in the wider area of Kastoria have greatly affected not only the city itself, but also agricultural crops where there is a risk of losing this year’s production. In addition, the local community of Kleisoura suffered landslides.
With his request for a state of emergency to be declared for his city, the mayor of Kastoria asks that all necessary measures are taken to protect the residents of the municipality and their properties, and to ensure the restoration of the damages that have been caused.
Tourist swallowed by waves on Lefkada, canyoning instructor dead on Mount Olympus
A 50-year-old Romanian tourist was swept away and drowned in Kathisma Beach on Lefkada island, where he and his wife were taking selfies in front of the sea as the stormy weather approached.
The man was swallowed by the huge waves and his wife was rescued by another tourist who was present at the incident.
In central Greece, rescue crews consisting of 22 firemen with 5 vehicles ran an operation in the afternoon to save a canyoning instructor who fell in a gorge and was swept away by a stream while he led a team of eleven climbers on Mount Olympus near Litochoron village.
The man was eventually reached and rescued in an unconscious state by the firemen but was reported dead soon after.