At least 20 dead in Macedonian flash floods: police | News | DW | 07.08.2016
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At least 20 dead in Macedonian flash floods: police

At least 20 people have been killed in freak storms that caused flash flooding in the Macedonian capital, Skopje. Police say rescue teams are still searching for a number of possible victims.

Cars were underwater and roads left severely damaged after gale-force winds and heavy rain hit Skopje's northeastern suburbs overnight.

"As of 8:30 this morning (0630 UTC), we have discovered 15 victims (of the storms). Our teams are still searching for other possible victims," police spokeswoman Liza Bendevska told the AFP news agency.

Local media reports said wind speeds reached more than 70 kilometers (43 miles) an hour, while water levels were as high as 1.5 meters (5 feet) in the worst-affected parts of the city.

Officials from the police, army and fire service were combing damaged streets for survivors. At least six people are still missing, while 22 others have been taken to hospital with injuries.

"This is a disaster - we have never experienced such a thing," Skopje's Mayor Koce Trajanovski said.

The rain eased later Sunday morning, but more downpours were forecast for later in the day.

nm/rc (Reuters, AFP, AP)