At least seven people have died and several remain missing across Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria as torrential rain and severe flooding batter southern Europe.
Flooding has claimed at least two lives in mainland Greece, two in northwestern Turkey and left at least three people dead on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline.
The worst may not be over as Greece, which has seen particularly intense rainfall, is braced for more flooding on Wednesday.
A level 2 of 3 warning for severe storms has been issued for Wednesday for parts of Greece, with threats including torrential rainfall and potentially tornadoes.
The storm, which has officially been named Daniel by the national meteorological services in southeast Europe, lashed the country with several months’ worth of rain on Tuesday, flooding homes, businesses and roads.
On Tuesday, the coastal port city of Volos, located around 330 kilometers (190 miles) north of Athens, was hit with around 10 times its monthly rainfall, approximately 375 mm in less than 14 hours, according to the European Severe Weather Database.
The storm has claimed at least two lives in the country. A man was killed after he was crushed by a wall in the village of Agios Georgios, near Volos, the Greek fire service said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the body of a woman in her 80s was recovered in the region of Magnesia in central Greece, the fire service said.
Greek public broadcaster ERT said on Wednesday that three people remain missing in central Greece.
Parts of Volos and surrounding areas are without electricity while roads have collapsed due to the floods in the nearby area of Pelion. Residents of a nursing home in the city had to relocate after a part of the building collapsed due to the rains, ERT said.
Traffic circulation has been banned in the towns of Trikala, Farsala and Karditsa in central Greece, according to police.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the country was facing a “totally extreme weather phenomenon,” as he urged the public to follow instructions from authorities.
In Turkey, at least two people have been killed following flooding in the Igneada Sisli Valley of Kirklareli district in the country’s northwest, according to the Turkish Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).
Six people were rescued while four remain missing, AFAD said.
Severe flooding has also struck Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastline. Three deaths were confirmed in the municipality of Tsarevo in southern Bulgaria, national broadcaster BNT reported Wednesday. Another person is still missing in Tsarevo.
Flooding in the area has destroyed infrastructure and damaged roads and bridges.
The severe rain is the result of a very strong low-pressure system. The center of the storm has slowed to a crawl west of Greece in the Mediterranean and is expected to bring heavy rounds of rainfall across the region for the next day or so.
The storm appears to be forming into a tropical-like cyclone known as a “medicane”. These systems can bring dangerous conditions to the Mediterranean Sea and coastal countries, similar to tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic or typhoons in the Pacific.
The flooding tops off a summer in Europe characterized by extreme weather, from heat waves to devastating wildfires. Scientists are clear that as the human-caused climate crisis accelerates, this kind of extreme weather will become more common and more severe.