SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 25 July 2024, Thursday |

Greek floods: PM Mitsotakis warns of very unequal battle with nature

Rescuers in central Greece are attempting to rescue hundreds of people stranded by floods that have buried communities and killed ten people.

Greeks confront a “very unequal battle” with nature, according to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

After days of excessive rain, rivers burst their banks, and homes and bridges were washed away.

Residents in the villages surrounding Palamas and Karditsa have requested food and water.

A three-day rain has deluged the plains of Thessaly after weeks of blistering heat and wildfires.

Rainfall totaling up to 800mm (31.5in) in 24 hours – more than a year’s worth – inundated the flat region of Thessaly in central Greece.

The death toll has risen to 10 and at least four people are missing, according to Greece’s civil protection minister Vassilis Kikilias. There are fears it could go up further when rescuers are able to reach more of the flooded areas.

The seventh victim of the floods to be found on Friday was a 69-year-old man in Volos.

Visiting some of the worst-affected areas, the Greek prime minister said the country was dealing with “a natural phenomenon the likes of which we have never seen before”.

Mr Mitsotakis promised to compensate people, whose houses had been destroyed or damaged, as quickly as possible.

“We will do everything humanly possible. I understand both anger and rage. I never hid, I’m always here in difficult times,” he said.

The rain has now largely stopped, but the floodwaters in some areas are in places greater than 2m (6.5ft) deep.

The latest city to come under threat is Larissa, home to 150,000 people, where the River Pineios has burst its banks in some suburbs.

Greek authorities have ordered residents in areas surrounding the city to leave.

The flooding follows Greece’s hottest summer on record and massive wildfires in the north of the country.

Scientists say extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change.

    Source:
  • BBC NEWS