Death toll rises as downpour near Athens floods roads, traps residents

Death toll rises as downpour near Athens floods roads, traps residents

Flash floods on the Greek capital’s western outskirts Wednesday converted roads into raging torrents of mud and debris, killing at least three people and inundating homes and businesses.

One woman died in her flooded home in the Megara area, while a man’s body was also recovered from another flooded home in the area, the fire department said. The body of another man was later found in the yard outside a local business.

The flooding came after severe weather overnight, with a storm hitting the area with driving rain.

Firefighters received at least 340 calls for help to pump water from flooded buildings and rescue people trapped by the rising waters following a severe overnight storm. Crews also rescued passengers from a bus stranded by the floodwaters on a highway.

Local authorities shut schools in the areas of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, while access was cut on parts of the Athens-Corinth highway leading through the area following an intense storm. The fire department appealed to the public to avoid heading to the area unless absolutely necessary in an effort to reduce traffic.

The deaths came a day after Greek authorities declared a state of emergency on the small Aegean Sea island of Symi after torrential rainfall there flooded homes and shops, swept vehicles into the sea and cut power after the local power station was flooded. [AP]

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