ISTANBUL (AP) — The death toll from severe rainstorms that lashed parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria increased to 11 Wednesday after rescue teams in the three neighboring countries recovered four more bodies.
A flash flood at a campsite in northwestern Turkey near the border with Bulgaria killed at least four people — with two found dead Wednesday — and carried away bungalow homes. Rescuers were still searching for two people reported missing at the campsite.
Another two people died in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, where Tuesday’s storms inundated hundreds of homes and workplaces in several neighborhoods.
The victims in Istanbul included a 32-year-old Guinean citizen who was trapped inside his basement apartment in the low-income Kucukcekmece district, Turkish broadcaster HaberTurk TV reported. The other was a 57-year-old woman who died after being swept away by the floods in another neighborhood, the private DHA news agency reported.
The surging flood waters affected more than 1,750 homes and businesses in the city, according to the Istanbul governor’s office. They included a line of shops in the Ikitelli district, where the deluge dragged parked vehicles and mud into furniture stores, destroying the merchandise, DHA reported.
The floods also engulfed a parking area for containers and trucks on the city’s outskirts where people found safety by climbing on the roof of a restaurant, Turkish media reports said.
In Greece, a record rainfall caused at least two deaths near the central city of Volos and three people were reported missing. The fire department said one man was killed Tuesday when a wall buckled and fell on him, and the body of a woman was discovered Wednesday.
Authorities banned traffic in Volos, the nearby mountain region of Pilion and the resort island of Skiathos, where many households remained without electricity Wednesday. Traffic was also banned in another two regions of central Greece near Volos, while the storms were forecast to continue until at least Thursday afternoon.
In Bulgaria, a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast. The body of a missing tourist was recovered from the sea Wednesday, raising the overall death toll to three. Border police vessels and drones were assisting efforts to locate another two people still listed as missing.
TV footage showed cars and camper vans being swept out to sea in the southern resort town of Tsarevo, where authorities declared a state of emergency.
Most of the rivers in the region burst their banks and several bridges were destroyed, causing serious traffic problems.
Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova said about 4,000 people were affected by the disaster along the entire southern stretch of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
“There is a problem transporting tourists because it is dangerous to go by coach on the roads affected by the floods,” she added.