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British tourists caught up in deadly storm while dining at Greek restaurant

THIS was the terrifying moment British holidaymakers and waiters at a restaurant were sent scrambling after a powerful storm hit the Greek region of Halkidiki last night.

The severe weather has battered the region leaving six tourists dead and about 140 more injured.

A state of emergency was declared in the area, a three-finger peninsula near the northern city of Thessaloniki popular with tourists in the summer.

Andy Gilchrist, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, who is on holiday with his family, was dining at the Anaya restaurant when the storm struck

He said: ‘We were enjoying dinner when first a lightning show, then winds hit and within seconds glasses and plates were flying.

‘Then the full storm hit and chair covers etc went flying in a truly awesome display of power by the elements.

‘Staff and guests were terrified, hiding in the restrooms and everyone was completely trapped in the restaurant which is on the edge of a steep incline facing the sea.’

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said 23 people remained in hospital today, including one woman in a critical condition in intensive care.

Two of those killed were Russian, two were Romanian and another two were from the Czech Republic, Mr Petsas said.

Crews were working to restore power that was knocked out to 80 per cent of the area, while the fire department said it had received more than 600 requests for assistance, including for rescues, to cut fallen trees and pump water from flooded basements.