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Man Killed as Storm Ballos Batters Greece for Second Day

Storm Greece
The storm called Ballos has been affecting many areas in Greece for a second day. Credit: AMNA

Greece’s fire service announced on Friday that one person had been killed on the island of Evia after he was carried away by the rushing water during the storm that has affected Greece for a second consecutive day.

The 70-year-old man had been missing since Thursday. According to a press release, the man was found unconscious in a riverbed in the area of Tsakaioi in southern Evia.

The man had called the emergency services on Thursday to say that he was in a pasture in the municipality of Karystos surrounded by water from an overflowing torrent.

A total of 20 firefighters with seven vehicles, a team from the Special Disaster Unit (EMAK) and a helicopter had been deployed in the area in the first ray of light to find him.

Last week, floods generated by the weather system “Athena” caused great destruction as they swept the fire-stricken North Evia.

Storm Ballos brings chaos throughout Greece

The man is the first fatality of the storm called Ballos that has been causing chaos across Greece. Hundreds of homes flooded in Athens. Torrential rains caused power outages in several parts of the capital and flooding in the streets.

An astounding thirty million tons of water fell on Thursday in the Kifissos River basin that starts from Kryoneri and Acharnes in east Attica and continues south to include a large part of central Attica, the head of the Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, Professor Efthymios Lekkas, said on Friday.

“These phenomena are unprecedented. We are consumed with who is to blame and who is not, and that is where our efforts are exhausted. We are in a new phase, in a phase of climate crisis, and new structures are needed,” Lekkas told Skai television.

“Such phenomena will be more frequent in the Mediterranean area in general…we will have…bigger phenomena in regions that we are not expected to have, and we will have complex crises and dangers, that is, one will follow the other or they will manifest at the same time.”

In Thessaloniki, a bus transporting oil refinery workers fell into a sinkhole in the center of the city on Friday. Authorities said all 15 people on the bus in Thessaloniki were unharmed.

The island of Corfu was declared in “state of emergency” late on Thursday after torrential rains flooded homes and businesses, destroyed infrastructure, agriculture and livestock and endangered human lives. A total of 69 people had to be evacuated with boats or helicopters after becoming trapped in the floods.

Climate Change and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides announced the closure of all public services in Attica on Friday, in view of the second day of the severe weather phenomenon.

In addition, primary and secondary schools that were shut down in the Attica region in the middle of the day will be out on Friday as well, due to the continuing severe weather.

Related: Greek Ingenuity: How to Cross a Flooded Street in Athens

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