Excessive construction key reason for scale of western Attica floods


As emergency services recovered the bodies of another three victims of last week’s flash floods in western Attica over the weekend, environmental experts have warned of the perils of unchecked construction and inadequate infrastructure.

Notwithstanding the fact that last week’s rainfall was unusually heavy, excessive construction was the key reason for the scale of the disaster, according to Michalis Diakakis, a researcher in the department of geology and geoenvironment at the University of Athens.

“It is self-evident that the streams [in the area] should have been kept open and not blocked from flowing out to sea,” Diakakis told Kathimerini, referring to the town of Mandra, which was the hardest hit by the flooding.

Residents of Mandra who saw their homes damaged in floods in 2015 told Kathimerini that they took remedial action by building higher walls around their homes. For the most part, however, these makeshift solutions did not work.