FEROCIOUS storms ripped through a tourist region in Greece last night, killing six holidaymakers including a toddler and an eight-year-old boy.
At least 100 others were reportedly injured after gale-force winds, rain and freak hail storms struck the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece.
Dramatic footage shows strong winds sweeping through a restaurant in the region, which is popular with tourists in the summer.
British holidaymakers were trapped in their hotels, buildings were damaged and cars were overturned in the carnage.
A 39-year-old man and a boy, aged two, who are believed to be from Russia, died after a tree fell on their vehicle, according to the Greek Reporter.
Two elderly Czech nationals were killed when strong winds swept away their travel trailer in Halkidiki, police said.
A woman and an eight-year-old boy, both from Romania, were killed after a roof collapsed on a restaurant in Nea Plagia.
Athansios Kaltsas, director of the Nea Moudania Medical Centre, said: “It is the first time in my 25-year career that I have lived through something like this. It was so abrupt, and so sudden.”
Patients taken to the clinic ranged in age from eight months to more than 70-years-old.
Some suffered head injuries from trees and other falling objects.
Officials have declared a state of emergency in Halkidiki and Greece’s newly appointed citizens’ protection minister is due to visit this morning.
The fire service rescued 30 people from buildings due to the bad weather and at least 140 firefighters worked through the night.
Such severe weather is unusual in Greece, where summers are typically hot and dry.
Meteorologist Klearxos Marousakis described conditions as “extremely unusual” for this time of year.
Greek photographer Constantine Emmanouilidi described the storms as the “scariest thing” he has ever witnessed.
“I have been chasing storms since many years but what I witnessed tonight is the scariest thing in my life,” he wrote on Facebook.
“We had a severe storm in Halkidiki Greece and the night turned into day from the lightning.
“I just cannot believe in my eyes and need some time to take in the experience.
“Me and my wife Emelie Selander were trapped literally into the cloud with thunders coming down all around us.
“I am talking for lightning appearing with no stop and no time gap in between.”
Forecasters say it will continue to rain in the area until about 9am on Thursday.
Earlier, in southern Greece, eight migrants, including two children, were injured when high winds blew a tree down onto a tent at a refugee camp in Inofyta, 60km from Athens.
The strong winds, combined with temperatures of 37C, also fanned three large wildfires in southern Greece.