Seven dead, over 100 injured in disastrous ‘supercell’ storm in Halkidiki
At least seven people, including six tourists, were killed and more than 100 others injured when a violent, short-lived storm lashed northern Greece overnight, felling trees and ripping off rooftops.
Witnesses said the storm had come and gone in a matter of minutes. Winds of over 100 kph (60 mph) were reported on the Halkidiki peninsula, popular with tourists in the summer.
Two elderly Czech tourists were killed when strong winds and water overturned their travel trailer, police said.
A woman and an eight-year-old boy from Romania were killed when a roof collapsed on a restaurant in the beach resort of Nea Plagia. And a man and a young boy, both Russians, died when a tree fell near their hotel in the seaside town of Potidea, authorities said.
A seventh, unidentified victim's body was found in the sea.
"It was so windy …it is really disastrous," said a Serbian tourist who gave his name as Bratislav.
The storm was a "supercell", Theodoros Karakostas, a professor of meteorology and climatology at Aristotelion University, told the state Athens News Agency. "It's a rare phenomenon," he said.
Supercells are the least common kind of thunderstorm, but the most violent.
Nefeli Minovgidou, a Greek tourist, described the scene as chaotic. "Chairs were flying everywhere, trees were falling .. everyone inside was screaming, it was chaos," she told Reuters.
Streets in the area were dotted with uprooted pine trees and overturned motorcycles. Wooden rooftops were torn off and dumped on beaches. A Reuters correspondent saw sun loungers strewn in mangled heaps with other debris across Nea Plagia's beaches.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose government was sworn in this week after winning elections on July 7,...