The death toll from strong storms that battered parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria rose to 12 on Wednesday after rescue teams in the three neighboring countries recovered five more bodies.
A flash flood in a camp in northwestern Turkey, near the border with Bulgaria, killed at least five people (three of them were found dead on Wednesday) and razed bungalows. Rescuers were still searching for a missing person in the camp.
Two other people were killed in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, where storms on Tuesday flooded hundreds of homes and workplaces in several neighborhoods.
Among the victims in Istanbul was a 32-year-old Guinean national 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 floodwaters in another neighborhood, the private DHA news agency reported.
The rising floods affected more than 1,750 homes and businesses in the city, according to the Istanbul governor’s office. Among them was a row of stores in the Ikitelli district, where the deluge washed parked vehicles and mud into furniture stores, destroying merchandise, DHA reported.
The floods too razed a parking area for containers and trucks on the outskirts of the city, where people found safety by climbing on the roof of a restaurant, Turkish media reported.
In Greecea record rain caused at least two deaths near the central city of Volos and three people were reported missing. The fire department said a man died Tuesday when a wall collapsed on him, and the body of a woman was discovered Wednesday.
Authorities banned traffic in Volos, the nearby mountainous region of Pilion and the resort island of Skiathos, where many homes remained without power on Wednesday. Traffic was also banned in two other central Greek regions near Volos, while storms were forecast to continue until at least Thursday afternoon.
In Bulgariaa storm caused floods on the southern coast of the Black Sea. The body of a missing tourist was recovered from the sea on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to three. Border police ships and drones were assisting in efforts to locate two other people who are still listed as missing.
Television footage showed cars and trucks being swept into the sea in the southern resort town of Tsarevo, where authorities declared a state of emergency.
Most of the rivers in the region overflowed their banks and several bridges were destroyed, causing serious traffic problems.
Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova said some 4,000 people were affected by the disaster along the entire southern stretch of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
“There is a problem with the transport of tourists because it is dangerous to go by bus on the roads affected by the floods,” he added.
(with information from AP)