Briton dies as storms ease

A 54-year-old man was confirmed yesterday as the third Briton who had died in the space of 24 hours during storms in the Aegean, as the weather on Greek islands began to ease off and allow authorities to assess the damage done by the heavy rain and strong winds. The body of David Westwell was found in the harbor of Almyrida, near Hania in Crete, yesterday afternoon, authorities said. Westwell was a permanent resident on Crete and had been missing since Wednesday morning. Authorities said that Westwell tried to cross a stream which had swelled because of the rainfall and was swept away. His body was found some three kilometers away. Two Britons, a man and a woman, drowned on Rhodes on Wednesday after attempting to swim in the sea despite 2-meter-high waves that had been whipped up by gale-force winds. The pair have not been named. Two Cretans were also killed this week in accidents which authorities have attributed to the bad weather. Costas Synolakis, a professor in the department of natural disasters at the Technical University of Crete, toured the areas of Almyrida and Kalyvia and said that large amounts of rubbish and rubble had been dumped in streambeds, which meant emergency management officials could not channel floodwaters away from developed areas. Synolakis has been asked to compile a report on the damage done during the storms. Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis visited the Dodecanese islands of Asypalaia and Leros to inspect the damage caused there. The Interior Ministry has given a total of 150,000 euros to the two islands’ municipalities to cover the immediate work to clear roads. It was not clear, however, what the overall cost of the damage would be.