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 A woman with an umbrella walks over a gushing river during a storm in southern Athens
Flooding has hit several areas of Athens and other parts of the country this weekImage: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP Photo/floodingpicture alliance

Flooding brings Greece to a standstill

October 15, 2021

Emergency services rescued flood victims as authorities closed schools and public counters across the country.


Heavy rains flooded hundreds of homes and business across Greece on Friday as landslides blocked roads and rivers overflowed in the capital and surrounding areas.

Flash floods left  many parts of Athens and its surrounding region underwater on Thursday and a farmer died on the island of Evia as he tried to save his herds.

How has the rain affected everyday life?

Emergency services came to the aid of residents after receiving hundreds of calls for assistance. Recent fires and floods in the region have been attributed to climate change

At least one man died when his car was carried away by flood waters as he tried to save his animals. The 69-year-old farmer's body was recovered in a river bed, police said Friday.

Fire fighters deployed over 1,400 times throughout Thursday and Friday, cutting down trees and draining businesses and homes hit by the downpour.

A bus lies stranded under a bridge on Poseidonos Avenue in Athens after recent floods
Commuters abandoned buses as waters rose in Athens, bringing chaos to the cityImage: Giannis Panagopoulos/Eurokinissi/ANE/picture alliance

Athens, northern Greece, and on the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Evia, which was one of the areas worst ravaged by wildfires in the summer.

Authorities in the capital's southern coastal neighborhoods restricted traffic on two main avenues and on the main road leading north from Athens.

They closed schools, public services, and limited transportation in the Greek capital and second city Thessaloniki advising private sectors workers to stay at home.

How severe were the floods so far?

Emergency services shut down roads as the floods hit Thursday, with many abandoning their vehicles and wading through the rising water to safety.

Although Athens International Airport was not affected, the government recommended people "avoid unnecessary movement" in the worst-hit areas.

On the island of Corfu, helicopters airlifted people from their rooftops in remote areas, Styliandes reported.

A car and taxi splash through Athens roads after flash floods hit the area
Authorities have asked people to stay home during Friday as schools shutImage: Tatiana Bolari/Eurokinissi/ANE/picture alliance

In one incident, 15 oil refinery workers survived after their bus fell into a sinkhole in Thessaloniki.

Residents of Evia, still reeling from summer wildfires, moved out of their homes in the north of the island to stay with friends or at hotels allocated by authorities.

"There is no doubt that we are facing a dangerous weather phenomenon that is very serious in some parts of the country," said Stylianides. "We must be careful, the danger is great," he warned.

Weather chiefs expect the storms, which brought back memories of similar scenes in 2017, to tail off by Sunday.

jc/rc (Reuters, AP)


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