The severe storms and torrential rains that hit Greece last week resulted in at least one casualty, with a 70-year old man killed when his car was carried away by flood waters.
The man, a farmer on the island of Evia, had been missing since late Thursday after rushing to protect his herds. Rescue crews found his body on a river bed on Friday, police said.
The storm caused chaos and damage across the country, with rivers, roads and homes flooded and rescue operations working overtime to deal with the hundreds of calls for help.
In Athens, the heavy rain caused major traffic disruptions and road closures which led to dozens of vehicles — including one bus full of passengers — being stranded on flooded roads. People inside were forced to abandon their vehicles and wade through the water to safety.
The head of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, Professor Efthymios Lekkas, said on Friday that 30 million tons of water fell on Thursday in the Kifissos River basin that starts from Kryoneri and Acharnes in east Attica and continues south to include a large part of central Attica.
“These phenomena are unprecedented. We are consumed with who is to blame and who is not and that is where our efforts are exhausted,” Lekkas said on Skai television. “We are in a new phase — in a phase of climate crisis — and new structures are needed.”
The storms follow a very difficult summer for Greece which saw wildfires rage across the country, causing mass devastation and attracting international media attention.
Featured image: A taxi is stranded Thursday as other vehicles cross a flooded avenue in Athens, after storms battered the Greek capital and other parts of southern Greece. (Thanassis Stavrakis/The Associated Press)
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