by Richard Davies, floodlist
Very heavy rainfall rain from Storm Daniel caused extensive flooding in parts of Greece, Bulgaria, and Türkiye in early September 2023.
In Greece, rainfall from the storm began on 04 September and continued for several days after.
Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the storm dumped 645 mm of rain in a few hours on 05 September in Zagora in Magnesia, Thessaly. Over a period from 04 to 07 September, Zagora recorded 1,095.6 mm of rain.
The rain resulted in catastrophic flooding in multiple locations in central Greece, in particular in the Thessaly Region. The Greek Fire Service received thousands of calls for assistance, mostly in Magnesia and the city of Volos, as well as Sporades, Evia, Karditsa, Trikalia, and Skiathos regional units.
In a press conference on 06 September, the Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said flooding from Storm Daniel had caused enormous destruction to infrastructure, homes, and businesses.
“I know the word unprecedented has been used many times and it may not make an impression. But here even this word does not convey the severity of the phenomenon. We are talking about unimaginable amounts of water,” Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.
Boats and helicopters were used to rescue hundreds of those trapped in the floods. As of 11 September, the Greek Fire Service reported 4,506 rescues or evacuations. Multiple fatalities and missing persons were reported in the days following the storm. As of 16 September, at least 17 fatalities had been confirmed.
On 11 September, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said initial estimates showed the storm caused financial damages of up to €2.5 billion
Agriculture in the Thessaly Region was severely impacted. Hundreds of thousands of livestock were destroyed along with wide areas of crops and farmland.
Copernicus said Storm Daniel and the consequent floods caused damage to over 700 km2 in Greece's central agricultural belt.
The Copernicus Rapid Mapping Service was activated on 05 September and provided maps and analysis of flooding in Magnesia, Palamas, Larissa, Stefanovikio, Karditsa, Keramidi and Kalamaki.
In early October, the Greek government said it had inspected over 22,000 homes impacted by the severe weather across 250 communities in the Thessaly and Central Greece Regions.
Heavy rain from Storm Daniel triggered severe flooding in Burgas Province on Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast.
The Ministry of the Interior said the villages of Rezovo, Kosti, Arapya and Lozenets and the towns of Tsarevo, Ahtopol and Varvara in Tsarevo municipality were severely impacted. Municipal officials declared a state of emergency.
Multiple rivers in the area burst their banks. A number of roads and bridges were damaged and two bridges were completely destroyed in the floods. Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova said about 4,000 people including locals and tourists were affected by the disaster. Local hotels were housing more than 400 people who have been left stranded by the floods.
On 07 September, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that 4 people had lost their lives in the floods in Tsarevo municipality.
Bulgaria’s National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology reported Kosti village in Tsarevo Municipality recorded 311 mm of rain in around 14 hours to 05 September. This is about 4 times the amount normally seen for the whole of September.
In Turkey, flash floods struck northern districts of Istanbul on 05 September, in particular, Ikitelli, Arnavutköy, Başakşehir, and Küçükçekmece. Authorities reported widespread damage to buildings and roads and at least 2 fatalities. Dozens of people were injured and around 1,700 buildings were damaged.
Meanwhile in Kırklareli Province in northwestern Turkey, 12 people were reported swept away by flash floods in areas of a national park in Iğneada in the Demirköy district. Emergency teams carried out extensive search and rescue operations. As of 05 September, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) reported that 6 people were rescued, but the bodies of two of the victims were found with 4 people still missing. By 06 September, AFAD reported 2 further fatalities.