Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his government would provide immediate relief for victims of the thunderstorms and flash floods which hit the island of Evia on Sunday.
Mitsotakis visited the island on Monday to evaluate damages of the natural disaster which left at least eight dead while destroying as many as 3,000 homes.
“Our first concern right now is the citizens and their properties,” the prime minister said in a Facebook announcement. “We will make sure that the water supply and electricity of the areas is immediately restored.”
The central Evia villages of Politika and Amfithea and the area of Bourtzi suffered the most damages from the storm.
Mitsotakis said his administration would promptly announce a timetable of financial compensation for those who suffered from damages — with priority given to citizens who lost homes, business owners and farmers.
“Especially on issues related to the household of our fellow citizens who lost their properties, I will insist that disbursements be rapid to cover the great damage suffered by the natural disaster,” he said. “Know that we will be with you.”
Greek Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said the world is facing “phenomena that we haven’t experienced before” and that climate change made it difficult to predict the rainfall’s intensity. Downpours were initially expected at 2.5 inches in 24 hours but resulted in nearly 14 inches, Hardalis said.
One crisis amid another
The disaster in Evia comes as Greece grapples with an eight-day streak of new triple-digit COVID-19 cases. Health authorities recorded 196 new cases on Tuesday, raising the nationwide total to 5,942.
In response to the recent spikes, the Greek government announced a new round of strict measures on Monday, including the mandatory midnight closure of bars and nightclubs at many tourist destinations. The new measures include the cancellation all religious processions, popular around the August 15 celebrations commemorating the falling asleep of the Virgin Mary.
The prime minister offers remarks
Mitsotakis spoke at a press conference during his Monday visit to Evia. The full video is here.
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