NEWS

Floods leave four dead and extensive damage

At least four people died and another went missing as heavy rainfall late Tuesday and early Wednesday flooded streets and homes in the Messinia region in the southern Peloponnese and areas east of Thessaloniki in northern Greece.

According to the fire service, all four victims were in the southern Peloponnese and all were senior citizens: an 80-year-old woman who lived alone in an apartment in Kalamata; a 62-year-old woman with mobility problems in the village of Pidima; a 90-year-old man in the village of Thouria; and another elderly man, whose age was not disclosed, whose body was found some 150 meters from his home in a rural part of Laconia.

Authorities, which declared five municipalities in a state of emergency, fear the list of casualties could grow, especially in villages whose residents are mainly elderly people.

The floods caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes, businesses, farms, roads, bridges and livestock in the town of Kalamata and surrounding villages in eastern Messinia, including Gargalianous, Filiatra, Hora, Stoupa, Thouria, Eva, Pidima, Kefalovryso, Vasiliko and Psari.

Although there were no official estimates of the damages, Kalamata Mayor Panayiotis Nikas said that at least 38 homes and five schools were damaged in the town, while the equipment of dozens of businesses lining the coast was destroyed, as well as infrastructure in the surrounding region.

“Seven villages were cut off but we managed to regain access, while the entire farm road network has been completely destroyed, hundreds of animals have drowned and crops have been decimated,” he said.

In northern Greece, floods mainly hit the Thermaikos Municipality.

A 53-year-old woman went missing after she apparently abandoned her car in a flash flood in the area between Mihaniona and Epanomi. The woman reportedly phoned her husband and told him she was trapped in her car. Rescuers later found the car but there was no sign of the woman.

The mayor of the Thermaikos, Yiannis Mavromatis, said the floods caused destruction of “biblical proportions” and called for the area to be declared in a state of emergency, after floods swept cars into the sea, destroyed roads and trapped people in their homes.

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