SKOPJIE, Macedonia – Macedonian police say the capital of Skopje has been hit by torrential rain and floods that left at least 15 people dead, six missing and 22 others sent to the hospital.
Police spokeswoman Natalija Spirova Kordikj gave the casualty toll to The Associated Press on Sunday, saying that heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms hit the Macedonian capital and its suburbs late Saturday. Kordikj did not specify how the victims died.
Special police, army units and firefighters have been sent to the worst-hit areas in the capital's northern suburbs and the nearby villages of Stajkovci, Aracinovo and Smiljkovci. Hundreds of homes and vehicles have been destroyed by the floods, roads are impassable and several areas are without electricity.
Skopje mayor Koce Trajanovski has described the situation as "the worst Skopje has ever seen."
Further north in Croatia, stormy winds have disrupted road and sea traffic at the height of the tourist season.
The state news agency HINA says parts of the main highway connecting the capital of Zagreb with the Adriatic coast remained closed on Sunday. Only cars were allowed down the sections of a highway and a regional road further north near the port of Rijeka.
Disruptions created by the bad weather have clogged the roads, creating traffic backups among cars carrying tourists toward Croatia's coastal resorts along the Adriatic Sea.
Traffic has been limited on the bridges connecting the islands of Pag and Krk with the coast, while some ferry lines have been halted services with the islands of Pag and Rab.