1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Greece, Turkey downpours leave several dead

September 6, 2023

At least seven people have died after torrential rains caused flash flooding in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. The deluge comes on the heels of extreme heat over summer.

Heavy rains in Volos, Greece, turn streets into flooded torrents, with a car submurged under waters in the picture
Heavy rains in Volos, Greece, turned streets into rushing torrentsImage: EUROKINISSI/AFP

At least seven people have died after heavy rains triggered major flooding in central Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

The Greek fire department said a man was killed near the central town of Volos, which was particularly hard-hit by the rains.

The nearby mountain village of Pelion and the resort island of Skiathos were also badly affected. 

Volos saw about 200 millimeters (about eight inches) of rain, while neighboring Zagora saw about 600 millimeters of rain, according to the National Meteorological Service.

"The amount of water that fell in 24 hours is the same as the usual rainfall for the whole of autumn," Meteorologist Panagiotis Giannopoulos told public broadcaster ERT.

The damage from the storm is yet to be fully assessed.

A government spokesman Yannis Artopios told ERT that the basement of Volos hospital was flooded. Firefighters were "in the process of pumping out the water," he said Tuesday.

Flash floods in the mountain region of Pelion in northern Greece
Flash floods in the mountain region of Pelion in northern GreeceImage: Sevina Dariotou/Eurokinissi/ANE/IMAGO

From fires to flooding

The rains come on the heels of wildfires that took a toll on services earlier this summer.

Northeastern Greece was faced with a massive wildfire that destroyed vast tracts of forest and that only showed signs of easing earlier this week after burning for 17 days.

The wildfire, which broke out in the Evros region near the border with Turkey, has been blamed for the deaths of 20 people, all of whom are believed to have been migrants.

Scientists warn that extreme weather, including heat waves and storms, is becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Wildfire in Greece declared largest in EU this year

Heavy rains batter Turkey, Bulgaria

Meanwhile, two people died and four others were missing after a storm battered neighboring Turkey, officials said on Tuesday.

In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, heavy rain flooded streets and homes in two neighborhoods. 

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said search teams had located two bodies and four other people were missing after flash floods swept over a campsite in northwestern Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria.

He said about 12 vacationers were at the site when the waters hit. 

Climate change drives stress on the world's water supplies

Heavy rains also hit southwestern Turkey on Monday, with lightning causing fires in 36 separate locations, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

Two deaths in Bulgaria

Farther north, in Bulgaria, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said two people died and three others were missing after a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast.

Overflowing rivers caused severe damage to roads and bridges in the area, which also suffered power blackouts. Authorities warned residents not to drink tap water due to contamination from floodwaters.

rm/nm (AFP, AP, dpa)