At least 15 people were killed after yesterday’s freak storms last night in Skopje, say the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Macedonia.
They have stated that they still do not have official information of the death toll. According to the MOI, all of the victims were from the North East part of Skopje, in Stajkovski, and the surrounding areas. That region was hit with a deluge of water and mud during the storm.
The MOI have also stated that more details with be announced during the day.
Officials from the City of Skopje and citizens joined in efforts to clean up the damage from the torrential rain and the flooded houses, yards, basements, and garages.
At this point in time, the total cost of the damage is still unknown.
The Motors Association of Macedonia (AMSM) this morning announced that due to heavy rainfall and rising water from 20:00 last night traffic has been brought to a complete stop on a bypass from the ring road in Hippodrome to Saraj, and the situation has not changed.
“The stop of traffic will continue until the clearing of the ring road is complete”, said the AMSM.
Serious accidents occurred in various places in Skopje, but in Avto Komanda was most critical, the whole road was blocked all the way to the Continental Hotel, which completely stopped traffic on Serbia Boulevard towards the neighbourhood Aerodrom on the other side of Skopje. Other serious accidents occurred in the centre, and roads leading to Dracevo and Pintija.
Dozens of people found themselves stuck in their cars in the storm, and reached out for help through social networks saying water was pouring into their vehicles. According to reports from across the capital, authorities from the City of Skopje were in the field helping and even special police forces were deployed to help with the floods.
Parts of the capital and the surrounding areas were without electricity for hours.
Part of the media, citing information from the Hydro-Meteorological Service, wrote that last night in Skopje, for two and a half hours, 33 litres of rain poured on every square metre, enough rain for the whole month of August. In the last 24 hours, according to the Hydro-Meteorological Service, in Skopje, it rained 93 litres on every square metre.
The torrential rains last yesterday evening caused several landslide and block to roads in the city of Tetovo. It buried the entrance to Shipkovitsa and the roads leading to the villages of Brodec and Vesela which was adrift with stones and mud. Construction machinery had to be sent to these locations to clear the roads and repair the damage.
The Macedonian Crisis Management centre decided on Sunday morning to declare a crisis situation in the Skopje and Tetovo region for the next 15 days.