Flooding and torrential rains claimed at least 26 lives in the Greek capital, Athens, and its port city of Pireaeus on Thursday (3 November).
Flooding and torrential rains claimed at least 26 lives in the Greek capital, Athens, and its port city of Pireaeus on Thursday (3 November). Both cities were put under a state of emergency and troops were called out to help police and firemen in the massive rescue operations.
SYNOPSIS: The flooding followed the heaviest rains in the area for 15 years. Large sections of the cities were left under water as rescuers shovelled through tonnes of mud which swept down mountains, buried cars and people and inundated building.
Many of the victims were children who were swept away as flood waters surged through the streets after the torrential rains. Officials fear the death toll could go higher. More than 2,000 houses were flooded and electricity and telephone lines were affected.
Some died as they were entombed in their cars. Athens military command put an emergency plan to deal with floods into operation. Specially trained troops worked to unearth buried cars. Hundreds of cars were trapped in submerged streets.
As shop-keepers and residents counted the cost, the Greek government ordered assistance for the thousands of families whose home and property were damaged. The last severe flooding in Athens was in 1961 when 42 people died and 300 were made homeless.