NEWS

One dead as torrential rain floods homes across Greece

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Torrential rain flooded rivers, roads and homes across Greece, many parts only just recovering from summer wildfires, prompting hundreds of calls for help to rescue people and pump out water.

At least one man was killed when his car was carried away by flood waters. The 70-year-old farmer had been missing since late Thursday after rushing to protect his herds on the eastern island of Evia, near Athens, a fire brigade official said.

Rescue crews found his body on a river bed, police said.

Overflowing rivers flooded houses on the western island of Corfu where many farm animals drowned, while landslides blocked roads, officials said.

The head of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, Professor Efthymios Lekkas, said on Friday 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. We are in a new phase, in a phase of climate crisis, and new structures are needed,” Lekkas told Skai television.

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A resident of Kolonos in central Athens took out a canoe to travel through flooded roads on Friday, following a wet weather front that first hit Greece on Wednesday night. [Giorgos Vitsaras, AMNA]

Schools and public services closed in Athens on Friday and private sector employees were advised to work from home.

Flash floods in Greece in 2017 killed 25 people and left hundreds homeless. 

[Reuters, Kathimerini]