NEWS

Cash pledged for flood areas

As residents of riverside southern suburbs of Athens and army conscripts manned makeshift sandbag barricades yesterday in the face of fresh rainfall, the government pledged financial aid to areas afflicted by flash floods over the past few weeks. Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said an extra 80 employees would be taken on by the municipalities of Moschato and Rendi as of Monday to cope with future floods caused by the Kifissos River bursting its banks on the final stretch of its course to the sea. And afflicted municipalities would be given financial aid to repair destroyed roads, pavements and drains. Works upstream to broaden the riverbed while building a new highway along the Kifissos caused heavy flooding at a point near Pireos Avenue where the riverbed abruptly becomes narrower. Since July 8, the river has three times risen in spate to flood Moschato, Faliron, Rendi and parts of Piraeus. On Tuesday night, some 300 houses and shops were flooded, many for the third time. Yesterday, Skandalidis said flood victims could call the 010.485.9900 hotline to arrange for damage assessment, compensation payments and loans.