Severe rainstorms lash parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, prompting floods and landslides.
The death toll from severe rainstorms that have lashed parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria has increased to 11 after rescue teams recovered four more bodies.
The storm, named Daniel by Greek meteorologists, has been battering the region since Monday and has mainly affected the central Greek region of Magnesia and its capital, Volos, 300km (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, and buildings and roads in nearby villages have been severely damaged by landslides and flooding, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency.
The torrential rains follow weeks of devastating wildfires in Greece.
“This is an extreme phenomenon,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
A massive blaze raging over the past two weeks destroyed swathes of the Dadia national park in the northern region of Evros. Officials said it is now under control.
A flash flood at a campsite in northwestern Turkey near the border with Bulgaria killed at least four people and carried away bungalow homes. Two of the victims were found on Wednesday.
Rescuers were still searching for two other people reported missing at the campsite.
Another two people died in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, where Tuesday’s storms inundated hundreds of homes and workplaces in several neighbourhoods.
The victims in Istanbul included a 32-year-old Guinean citizen who was trapped inside his basement apartment in the low-income Kucukcekmece district, Turkish broadcaster HaberTurk TV reported.
The other was a 57-year-old woman who died after being swept away by the floods in another neighbourhood, the private DHA news agency reported.
Surging floodwaters affected more than 1,750 homes and businesses in the city, according to the Istanbul governor’s office.
They included a line of shops in the Ikitelli district, where the deluge dragged parked vehicles and mud into furniture stores, destroying the merchandise, DHA reported.
The floods also engulfed a parking area for containers and trucks on the city’s outskirts where people found safety by climbing on the roof of a restaurant, Turkish media reports said.
Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast has also been hit by the heaviest rains in years.
Thunderstorms since Monday evening have caused rivers to overflow, damaging bridges and cutting off access in the region south of the coastal city of Burgas.
The body of a missing tourist was recovered from the sea on Wednesday, raising the overall death toll there to three.
Border police vessels and drones were assisting efforts to locate another two people still listed as missing.
TV footage showed cars and camper vans being swept out to sea in the southern resort town of Tsarevo, where authorities declared a state of emergency.
Most of the rivers in the region burst their banks and several bridges were destroyed, causing serious traffic problems.
“It’s a disaster. … The steep terrain [along the coast] creates an enormous danger,” Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said, adding “long-term solutions” would be needed to secure the area.
The rains were the heaviest since 1994 with as much rain falling in 24 hours as is usually seen in several months, according to head of the fire department, Alexandar Dzhartov.
Flooding, which had been rare on the Black Sea coast, is becoming increasingly common in Bulgaria with the impact of climate change and the poor maintenance of infrastructure.
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