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Perth
July 18, 2019
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Six foreigners die after violent storm hits northern Greece

ATHENS (Greece) -A violent and short-lived storm lashed northern Greece overnight killing six foreigners including two children and injuring more than 100 other people.

The storm causes trees to fell and ripped off rooftops.

Witnesses said the storm had come and gone in a matter of minutes. Winds of over 100 kph (60 mph) were reported on the Halkidiki peninsula, popular with tourists in the summer.

Two elderly Czech tourists were killed when strong winds and water overturned their travel trailer, police said.

A woman and an 8-year-old boy from Romania were killed when a roof collapsed on a restaurant in the beach resort of Nea Plagia. And a man and a young boy, both Russians, died when a tree fell near their hotel in the seaside town of Potidea, authorities said.

Streets in the area were dotted with uprooted pine trees and overturned motorcycles, and wooden rooftops had been torn off and dumped on beaches.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose government was sworn in this week after winning elections on July 7, cancelled his morning schedule and was being continuously briefed, a government official said.

Civil Protection Minister Mihalis Chrisochoidis said Greece was mourning the loss of life, adding: “In coming days all damage will be repaired.”

Such severe storms are unusual in Greece, where summers are typically hot and dry. But the tragedy had echoes of a wildfire almost a year ago that raced through the resort of Mati almost without warning, fanned by hot winds, trapping many inhabitants before they could flee and killing 100 people.