‘Zorbas’ wreaks widespread damage


The General Secretariat for Civil Protection on Sunday declared several municipalities in mainland Greece to be in a state of emergency after a powerful tropical-type storm pounded the region, causing widespread damage.

Rescue workers were searching for three people who were declared missing in the area of Mantoudi, on the island of Evia. There had been no sign of them by late last night.

The storm, dubbed Zorbas, swept into the Peloponnese on Saturday morning, bringing winds of 90 kilometers per hour, heavy rain and 8-meter waves.

It moved across the mainland, flooding roads, uprooting trees and disrupting transport services, and by yesterday was heading north and across the Aegean and wreaking damage in Turkey.

Greece’s General Secretary for Civil Protection Yiannis Tafyllis told reporters on Sunday that the hardest-hit areas were around Corinth and Argos in the Peloponnese peninsula and the northern part of Evia.

People were evacuated from the seaside village of Nea Kios in the eastern Peloponnese on Saturday following flash floods that left many homes without electricity. In Argos, streets were flooded after two rivers broke their banks.

Dozens of homes were also evacuated in Oropos, eastern Attica, while authorities were on standby in nearby Mati, which was badly hit by the deadly July wildfires, and in Mandra, western Attica, which was hit by fatal floods last November.

The fire service received more than 1,300 calls requesting help from people in cars trapped in flooded streets and residents whose homes were submerged.

Meanwhile authorities on Lesvos were scrambling to find alternative accommodation for hundreds of refugees who are living in tents around the overcrowded state-run camp near the village of Moria.

Buses were on standby to relocate the migrants in the event that stormy weather hits the island, though it remained unclear where they would go.

On Saturday Regional Governor of the Northern Aegean Christiana Kalogirou told Skai TV on Saturday that the army was on standby to relocate 4,500 migrants from tents in Moria if necessary.