Swollen Evros stirs flood fears

Authorities in northeastern Greece went on the alert yesterday after the level of the Evros River rose to a worrying high following days of heavy floods in neighboring Bulgaria. At Pythion, north of Didymoteicho, the river level yesterday evening had risen to 4.44 meters, compared to a standby level of 4.70 meters and an emergency level of 5.70 meters. And the river was expected to swell even further overnight due to an anticipated influx of rainwater from Bulgaria, according to Evros Prefect Nikos Zambounidis. Two fire engines and six firefighters were on standby in Pythion last night amid fears of a repeat of floods in March this year when the Evros reached its highest level in over 100 years, flooding thousands of hectares of farmland. Around 350 hectares of cotton and beetroot plantations were believed to have been submerged yesterday. Also, rail services between Orestiada and Dikaia were suspended after a section of the railway tracks were flooded. Buses were servicing the route.