Unexpected Storm Floods Greece’s Evia Island, Kills 7

Unexpected Storm Floods Greece’s Evia Island, Kills 7

The second largest Greek island was taken by surprise by torrential rains and overflowing rivers.

A sudden storm has caused massive floods on the Greek island of Evia (Euboea) killing seven people, including an infant, with one more person still missing.

Evia, the largest Greek island in the Aegean Sea, and the country’s second largest after Crete, was hit by a massive thunderstorm from the storm system Thalia early on Sunday, Ekathimerini reports.

The torrential rain caused a local river to overflow, killing an elderly couple, an 86-year-old man and an 85-year-old woman, in the village of Politika, north of the city of Halkida, about 100 kilometers from Athens.

An 8-month-old baby, the elderly couple’s grandchild, according to reports, who was on holiday with its parents, also perished in the flooding. All three of them drowned in a ground-floor apartment.

The bodies of another family couple, a woman, 38, and her husband, 42, were found outside their home in the inland village of Amfithea.

On Sunday afternoon, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that two more dead bodies had been found but their identities had not been established yet.

The Greek authorities had announced that two people had gone missing but subsequently one of them, an elderly woman, was found at sea, holding on to a piece of furniture, and was rescued by helicopter.

During the sudden flood on the island of Evia, the local fire service responded to 495 calls, including 47 cases of people trapped in their homes and cars. A total of eight of those had to be evacuated by helicopter.

At first, when the storm first broke out on Evia around midnight, the fire service had to respond to about 50 fires caused by lightning.

Many people on the island saw themselves forced to climb to the rooftops of their homes or up olive trees. In several places the flooding was 1.5 meters deep.

Later on Sunday, another local river burst its banks causing a flooding south of Halkida, in the areas of Bourtzi and Lefkanti.

Road connections to the island of Evia, which has a population of more than 200,000 people, and is located parallel to the Greek mainland, are cut off.

The island is presently reachable only by a ferry departing from Oropos, north of Athens.

(Banner image: Greek Government Press Office)

Ivan Dikov is a Bulgarian journalist and author. He studied political science / international relations and history at Dartmouth College and later in Sofia, in the Eastern Balkans. He’s served for five years as the editor-in-chief of Bulgaria’s largest English-language media – Novinite.com. As a freelancer, he has collaborated with media from the US, the UK, Germany, and Australia.

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