Powerful storm in Mediterranean brings heavy rain to Greece

Powerful storm in Mediterranean brings heavy rain to Greece

A powerful Mediterranean storm brought torrential rain to southern Greece as civil protection services remained on alert across most of the country Saturday despite word that the turbulent weather had lost force as it moved east.

Winds of up to 90 kph (55 mph) were reported as the storm moved past the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese. It then lashed the northeastern part of the peninsula and traveled closer to Athens, the Greek capital.

People were evacuated from the eastern Peloponnese seaside village of Nea Kios, which was partly flooded and without electricity. Elsewhere in the Peloponnese region, rivers overflowed and some damage has been reported.

The Hellenic Fire Service reported that calls had come in from towns near the city of Corinth requesting help rescuing people from cars trapped in flooded streets and evacuating residents from homes.

The powerful storm – which was being called Zorba locally – was expected to bring heavy rain to the greater Athens area on Saturday as it rolled toward islands in the Aegean Sea and along Turkey's coast. All ferry service from mainland ports near Athens was canceled.

Police said traffic on the main highway between Athens and the Peloponnese was closed some 54 kilometers (34 miles) west of the capital due to flooding.

A flight from London to the southwestern city of Kalamata was diverted to Athens, but weather-related flight delays were limited. [AP]

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