At least 15 dead as storms hit Macedonia capital

SKOPJE: At least 15 people died overnight as fierce storms with strong winds slammed into Macedonia’s capital of Skopje, police announced on Sunday.


“As of 8:30 this morning (0630 GMT), we have discovered 15 victims (of the storms). Our teams are still searching for other possible victims,” police spokeswoman Liza Bendevska told AFP.

Six people remained missing, according to the police.

The freak weather, which included winds blowing at more than 70 kilometres (43 miles) an hour, affected northeastern suburbs of the capital in particular, local media reported.

Reports said the water level reached as high as 1.5 metres (five feet) in parts of the affected suburbs.

Macedonia’s police and army were combing the stricken areas for survivors and other victims.

“This is a disaster, we have never experienced such a thing,” said Skopje’s Mayor Koce Trajanovski.

Violent storms also battered the northwestern city of Tetovo causing property damage but no casualties.