Tuesday 28 October 2014

Extreme weather in the Balkans

Major Flooding and Rare Snow Impacts Thousands Across Balkan Peninsula

27 October, 2014

A moisture-laden cyclone, partly associated with the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo, moved slowly through Greece and neighboring parts of the Balkan Peninsula from Friday through Sunday.

The storm brought significant flooding to portions of Greece, including Athens. Meanwhile heavy rain and snow brought travel nightmares to parts of Bulgaria.

Tatoi and Eleusis, both northern suburbs of Athens situated in the Attica Region, picked up more than 2.50 inches of rain in a short period of time leading to flooding.
In the Llion area, the Greek Reporter stated that a supermarket parking area was flooded trapping several vehicles.
Numerous other cars and vehicles were swept down streets and piled onto of one another thanks to the ferocious force in which the flood waters traveled.

Cars are piled up after a storm in Athens, on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. As stormy weather hit Greece, torrents of rain swamped Athens, flooding basements and underpasses and, in a low-lying part of the capital, sweeping away and piling up parked cars. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

The heaviest rainfall shifted into Bulgaria over the weekend as nearly 125 mm (5 inches) fell in the city of Burgas, prompting widespread rainfall and travel chaos. The storm ended with one final blast as wet snow mixed in with the rain all the way to Black Sea coast.
Strong winds closed the ports in Varna and Burgas at times over the weekend, according to The Sofia Globe.
Accumulating snowfall in some of the higher elevations resulted in road closures. Up to 20 cm (8 inches) of snow was reported in Pamporovo.
The cyclone responsible for this flooding rain and early season snowfall has weakened; however, the threat for daily rainfall remains in the forecast for the southern Attica Region through at least Wednesday.


Hurricane Gonzalo Damages Estimated To Be At Least $200 Million In Bermuda


25 October, 2014

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Hurricane Gonzalo caused between $200 million and $400 million in insured losses over the weekend on Bermuda, according to an estimate by AIR Worldwide, a Boston-based catastrophe modeling company.

The large eye of the storm containing calm air passed directly over the tiny island chain of 65,000 inhabitants on Friday, reducing the time the British territory was exposed to hurricane-force winds and limiting potential damage, AIR said in its estimate, which was released late Wednesday.

EQECAT, another modeling firm, estimated the insured losses at $300 million, according to a report on Monday by Insurance Journal, a trade publication.

Gonzalo blew off portions of roofs and caused structural damage to some older buildings, including some historical structures, AIR found in a survey conducted Sunday and Monday.

But the company found that more modern and well-maintained buildings constructed under strict new building codes to withstand sustained wind speeds up to 110 mph (177 kph) and gusts up to 150 mph (241 kph) held up well. Most resorts saw little more than minimal damage to roofs, AIR reported.

Gonzalo followed Tropical Storm Fay by a week, while some damaged roofs were still under repair.

The hurricane hit the Atlantic island archipelago off the coast of North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of around 110 miles per hour (175 kph), forecasters said.

Gonzalo was the strongest storm to strike Bermuda since the similar-sized Hurricane Fabian in 2003, which AIR said caused $300 million in damage. A repeat of Fabian this summer would have cost $650 million, factoring in increased 2014 insurance exposure, AIR said.

The islands also suffered wide power outages and blocked roads, but there were no fatalities. Power has mostly been restored to customers, Bermuda Electric Light Co said on Thursday.

AIR's calculations do not include damage to infrastructure or boats tossed at sea and blown from berths on land.

Earlier, Gonzalo hit elsewhere in the Caribbean, tearing off roofs in Antigua and killing an elderly sailor and damaging some three dozen vessels in St. Maarten.

After departing Bermuda, Gonzalo stayed offshore but brought tropical storm conditions to Newfoundland, Canada, on Sunday, and battered northern Scotland on Tuesday.

United Kingdom: Hurricane Gonzalo batters UK coastline

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