The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Updated (2): 1 missing, 6 dead in storm in northern Greece

Associated Press Thursday, 11 July 2019, 08:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

A search and rescue operation was underway in northern Greece for a fisherman missing after a powerful storm left six people dead, including two children, and injured more than 100.

Wednesday night's storm in the northern Halkidiki peninsula ripped up trees and power pylons, tossed vehicles and left swathes of debris across the coast.

Police said around 140 people were injured, most of them slightly, in Wednesday's storm in the northern Halkidiki peninsula. Paramedics treated 65 of the injured. Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said 23 people remained hospitalized Thursday, including one woman in critical condition in intensive care.

Two of those killed were Russian, two were Romanian and another two were from the Czech Republic, Petsas said. A state of emergency was declared in the region, a three-finger peninsula near the northern city of Thessaloniki popular with tourists in the summer.

Two of those who died were killed when high winds overturned their recreational vehicle, while an 8-year-old boy and his mother were killed when an outdoor restaurant's lean-to roof collapsed. Another two were killed by falling trees.

Crews were working to restore power that was knocked out to 80% of the stricken area, while the fire department said it had received more than 600 requests for assistance, including for rescues, to cut fallen trees and pump water from flooded basements.

The coast guard said patrol boats were searching for a 62-year-old fisherman missing off Halkidiki's coast since Wednesday night, after he took his fishing boat out in the afternoon before the storm struck.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was elected on Sunday and just formed his government, appointed Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis to head the response effort, Petsas said, while the army was assisting repair crews.

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