The rains should have come as a welcome relief to Greece that faced temperatures of nearly 98.6F over the past two days. However, it was a freak hailstorm on July 10 with heavy rains that lasted for 20 minutes that left six tourists dead with dozens injured. The Halkidiki region near the city of Thessaloniki was in shambles. There were overturned cars on the roads, and fallen trees that hampered movement. Some roofs had blown off and mudslides added to the woes.

The Guardian quotes an official of northern Greece as saying that “It was an unprecedented phenomenon.” A state of emergency is declared.

Greece is a favorite travel destination and the sudden storm took the tourists by surprise. It knocked out power and teams of the army were trying to restore the same and bring back normalcy.

Victims of the storm

A caravan was one of the vehicles that overturned and ripped open. A Czech family was occupying it and an elderly couple died while other members of the family suffered injuries. In another incident, the victims were a Russian man and his son. They died when a tree fell on them. The third set of casualties were a Romanian woman and her child. It was due to the caving-in of the roof of a restaurant.

There were plenty of people dining there but the mother-daughter duo died. In addition, there was no trace of a fisherman in his 60s.

The Guardian adds that Kyriakos Mitsotakis took over as prime minister on Sunday.

He canceled his meetings to address the disaster. A large number of rescue workers are involved in rescue operations but it will take time to restore the damaged infrastructure.

Sudden storm in Greece raises questions

According to BBC, the freak 20-minutes storm raises many questions when viewed against the backdrop of other climatic disorders in Europe.

This incident in Greece is the latest in a number of extreme weather events recorded across Europe in recent weeks. The month of June saw a heatwave in many countries. In addition, there were reports of golf-ball-size hail in France and Italy while Sicily had to face the fury of forest fires. Obviously, the climate has gone for a toss.

The sudden storm in Greece lashed Halkidiki with gale-force winds, heavy rain, and hailstorms. It took six lives and left at least 30 others injured. Those who lost their lives were tourists who had come to enjoy but fate willed otherwise. The head of civil protection in northern Greece described it as an "unprecedented phenomenon."

A witness recounted the situation.

She was at a beach party with her family when the storm hit. It came like a bolt from the blue. The lights went out and led to a chaotic situation as people hurried to take shelter. Then the floods came. The director of a Medical Centre said – “It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this."