FEROCIOUS storms have ripped through a tourist region in Greece, killing at least six including two young kids.
At least 100 others were injured after gale-force winds, rain and hail storms struck the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece.
Deadly storms have ripped through the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece[/caption]
Dramatic footage shows strong winds sweeping through a restaurant in the region, which is popular with tourists in the summer.
Streets were littered with uprooted pine trees and overturned motorcycles.
“It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this,” Athansios Kaltsas, director of the Nea Moudania Medical Centre, said.
“It was so abrupt, and so sudden,” he said.
Kaltsas said patients taken to the clinic ranged in age from eight months to over 70.
Some suffered head injuries from trees and other falling objects.
Two elderly Czech tourists were killed when strong winds and water swept away their travel trailer, police said.
Elsewhere in the region, a woman and an 8-year-old boy, both Romanian nationals, were killed after a roof collapsed on a restaurant in Nea Plagia.
A man and a young boy, both Russians, died after a tree collapsed near their hotel in the seaside town of Potidea, authorities said.
Such severe weather is unusual in Greece, where summers are typically hot and dry.
Meteorologist Klearxos Marousakis described conditions as “extremely unusual” for this time of year.
Forecasters say it will continue to rain in the area until about 9am. on Thursday.
Authorities declared Halkidiki in a state of emergency, and Greece’s newly appointed citizens’ protection minister was due to visit early on Thursday.
At least 140 firefighters were operating in the area.