The body of a man missing after a storm sparked flash floods on the Greek island of Evia over the weekend has been recovered, Greece’s coast guard said Monday, bringing the death toll from the storm to eight.
Rescue crews had been searching for the 72-year-old since Sunday, after he was reported missing following flooding that swept away cars and sent residents of some villages scrambling to their roofs to await rescue.
The coast guard said the man’s body was recovered from the sea off the coast of mainland Greece opposite Evia just after midday Monday.
The dead from the storm and flash floods include an elderly couple found in their flooded home Sunday morning, and an 8-month-old baby found in a flooded ground-floor apartment.
Parts of Evia saw rainfall that reached 80% of the annual rainfall for the area in the space of a few hours overnight Saturday to Sunday, Greece’s meteorological service has said.
A river burst through its banks and flooded part of the village of Politika, forcing many residents to climb to the rooftops of their homes. Another river in the village of Bourtzi also burst its banks. Authorities estimated that 3,000 residences had been partially or totally damaged by floodwaters and police said many local roads were made impassable. Power and water were also knocked out in some areas.
The floodwaters swept away cars and storage containers, tossing them into streets and against the walls of buildings. On Monday local authorities, emergency crews and residents were clearing debris and piles of mud from streets, homes and stores.
Heavy rain started falling at about midnight Saturday and firefighters responded to over 50 fires caused by lightning. By late afternoon Sunday, 97 people had been safely evacuated from their homes and cars, 30 of them by helicopter, and over 600 homes had been drained of floodwaters, the fire service said. [AP]