Very strong winds, tornadoes and violent hailstorms hit northern Greece late Wednesday, July 10, 2019 (local time). Such severe weather is extremely unusual in Greece for this time of year, meteorologist Klearxos Marousakis said.
According to Charalambos Steriadis, head of civil protection in northern Greece, it was an unprecedented phenomenon.
Trees were uprooted and roofs collapsed after a 'sudden and unexpected' storm with wind gusts up to 100 km/h (62 mph) hit the area, claiming lives of 6 people and injuring more than 100.
Halkidiki, the worst-hit area, declared a state of emergency after the storm, lasting about 20 minutes, swept over the popular tourist destination.
A Czech couple died when strong winds blew their caravan away, a Russian man and his son were killed by a falling tree, and a woman from Romania and her child were killed by debris falling down from a building. Another person, a fisherman in his sixties, is missing.
According to the network of automatic meteorological stations of the National Observatory of Athens / Meteo.gr, the highest wind gusts were recorded in the areas: Klidi Viotia 101 km/h (62.7 mph), Stratoni Chalkidiki 100 km/h (62 mph), Amynteo, Nea Michaniona and Antikyra 85 km/h (53 mph), Makrinitsa 81 km/h (50 mph), Prespes and Nessonas Tempi 79 km/h (49 mph).
The storms were a part of severe weather outbreak over S-SE Europe and came after days of above 35 °C (95 °F) temperatures.
Featured image credit: MeteoGR