ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek rescue teams recovered the bodies of three more people in central Greece on Sunday, raising the death toll to 14 from the country’s most intense rain storm since records began in 1930.
Three other people are still missing, according to authorities. Storm Daniel pummelled Greece for three days from Tuesday at the end of the hottest summer ever recorded, leaving a fresh trail of ruin after deadly wildfires.
Homes and bridges collapsed, roads and power poles were destroyed, animals drowned and crops in the fertile Thessaly plain were wiped out.
The bodies of an 88-year-old woman and two men, aged 58 and 65, were found near the city of Karditsa, one of the worst-hit areas. Flood-stricken residents were being airlifted or transferred in lifeboats.
So far, more than 4,250 people have been evacuated, authorities said, as efforts were focused on villages near the city of Larissa and close to the River Pineios, parts of which have overflowed damaging villages further.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was expected to visit the main operation centre in Thessaly on Sunday evening and announce a series of relief measures for those affected by the storm.
The deluge in Greece followed a huge wildfire in the north. Scientists say Greece’s arid Mediterranean climate puts it on the front line of global climate change, with freak weather incidents increasingly common.
Extreme weather events have struck across the globe in recent weeks, with floods in Scandinavia, southeast Europe and Hong Kong. India had its driest August since records began more than a century ago.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Alkis Konstantinidis; Editing by Peter Graff)