A powerful storm with strong winds and heavy rain hit Croatia and Slovenia on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring scores, police and local media said.
It was the second storm in two days to engulf the two countries after a series of extremely hot and dry days. Elsewhere in Europe, a heat wave sparked wildfires and public health warnings.
Two people were killed by a falling tree in the Croatian capital Zagreb, Croatian police said. A 50-year-old man was outside in the street and a 48-year-old man was in his car, a police statement said. Earlier, emergency doctor Ljupka Hatrova told the state-run HINA news agency that both victims had suffered multiple head injuries.
According to the WMO, the heat wave is expected to intensify this week, increasing the risk of heart attacks and deaths.
In eastern Croatia, the Civil Protection Service reported that one person died after a tree fell on their car in the town of Sernik.
Elsewhere in Zagreb, a 36-year-old man was seriously injured when a construction crane collapsed, a police statement said.
The storm suddenly darkened the sky and brought blinding rain, flash floods and winds to Zagreb starting around 4 p.m., bringing the city to a standstill, causing power outages and downed trees blocking roads.
Zagreb’s emergency services asked citizens to be patient as hundreds of calls for help poured in.
Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic said on Twitter, “We are appealing to citizens to call only in a life-threatening situation or absolutely necessary until the situation is stabilized.”
A similar situation was reported in neighboring Slovenia, where strong winds uprooted trees and blew off roofs.
Public broadcaster RTV Slovenia reported that one person was killed and another injured when a tree fell in the Lake Bled area.
Authorities in Serbia issued warnings to citizens as the storm moved east on Wednesday. Sudden gusts of wind swept across the capital Belgrade on Wednesday evening, sending people scrambling for cover as leaves and dust swirled.
Highways closed, oil refinery at risk of Greek forest fire
Strong storms also wreaked havoc in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia late Tuesday, uprooting trees, tearing roofs off buildings and causing power outages.
Emergency services in all three countries reported hundreds of interventions as the storm swept across the region. It also provided considerable relief from the heat.
Tens of thousands of people were left without power and hundreds of camps were evacuated after strong winds toppled their tents Tuesday night, Slovenian officials said.
Click here to get the Fox News app.
The state-run STA news agency reported that high-altitude forests suffered the most damage. Authorities have warned climbers in the alpine country to stay away from these areas.