Five dead, one missing as floods hit Greek island

posted August 10, 2020 at 06:00 am
by  AFP
Five people including a baby died and another person was missing on Sunday as torrential rains and floods swept the Greek island of Evia, damaging dozens of houses and blocking roads.

People stand in a destroyed street following a storm at the village of Politika, on Evia island, northeast of Athens, on August 9, 2020. - Five people including a baby died and two more were missing as torrential rains and floods swept the Greek island of Evia, damaging dozens of houses and blocking roads, officials said on August 9. Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP
The eight-month-old baby was found dead in a house in the village of Politika on Sunday, a fire service spokesman said. The baby's parents were unharmed.

Hours earlier, a man and woman, both in their 80s, were found unconscious by firefighters in two houses in the same village, the spokesman said. They were confirmed as dead at the hospital.

Deputy minister for civil protection Nikos Hardalias had earlier said five people had died and two were missing.

But a spokesman for the local emergency services told AFP later in the day that "a woman has been found alive, the rescue workers are looking for the second missing person, a man."

The ANA news agency said a helicopter had spotted the missing woman, who had been swept away by the floodwaters from her home in the village of Bourtsi.

The two other people who died, a 74-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman, were also from Bourtsi, the agency reported.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis voiced his "profound pain for the loss of lives" and said he would visit Evia, Greece's second largest island after Crete, on Monday.

'A nightmare'

Torrents of water blocked roads in the west of Evia, which lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Athens. Some tourists were unable to leave one campsite on the island, ANA reported.

"We are experiencing a nightmare, we are using every possible means" to combat the floods, said Ana Fanis Spanos, a lawmaker from the central Greece region.

Storm Thalia battered several regions of mainland Greece Saturday, though the weather was improving on Sunday.

Hundreds of homes were flooded in Politika and several surrounding villages. Blocked roads prevented fire trucks from reaching the affected sites.

Two rivers burst their banks and filled roads with mud, local authorities said. The ground floors of many houses were flooded.

About 100 firefighters and two helicopters as well as the coastguard were deployed to rescue those trapped.

"Last year we had fires, this year it's floods," one resident of the village of Psachna told ERT television.

Flooded homes are a frequent occurrence in Greece due to a lack of adequate controls over construction and planning.

In November 2017, floods killed 24 people in Mandra, a village in an industrial region 30 kilometres west of Athens. Torrents of mud poured down over thousands of buildings, homes, shops and factories.

Topics: Kyriakos Mitsotakis , Greece , Flood , Evia island , Nikos Hardalias
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by The Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with The Standard editorial standards, The Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.