More floods after third river swells

Tracts of farmland bordering on the Pineios River in Thessaly, central Greece, were submerged yesterday after the river broke its banks, just a few days after the Evros and Kastoria rivers overflowed, provoking widespread flooding in the broader region. It is the first time in three decades that three rivers have overflowed in different parts of the country almost simultaneously, causing widespread damage and disruption. According to farmers in Trikala, the overflowing Pineios has submerged about 2,000 hectares of land. The floods also have disrupted road travel in the area and a few homes have been affected. The extent of the damage in Trikala was minimal yesterday compared to the destruction wreaked by floods in the northern prefecture of Evros, where local authorities remained on standby. More than 20,000 hectares of land have been submerged across the prefecture and dozens of homes have been rendered uninhabitable. Last night, Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Spyros Vougias was due to arrive in Alexandroupoli ahead of a scheduled tour of flooded areas today. The cost of the damage is estimated at several million euros. In Kastoria, authorities were on standby as the water level of the river there is expected to rise by 7 centimeters over the next few days. The level of the river rose by 16 centimeters this week, prefectural officials said. The Pineios River, which dwindles to little more than a brook in the summer, this week broke its banks for the fifth time in four months due to unusually heavy rainfall in the area.

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