Floods that followed heavy rainfall in Greece on Friday left one person dead and widespread destruction in buildings and cultivated fields, local officials said.
According to the Deputy Regional Director of Ilia, in NW Peloponnese, Vassilis Giannopoulos, the man who died was in his car when it was carried away by floodwaters in Vrachnas, northern Ilia.
In addition, Vergas river overflowed despite having been cleaned and heavy machinery was called in to avert the flooding of Manolada, in a major producing region of Greece, he told the Athens Macedonia News Agency.
Initial information he received said that cultivated fields, homes, stores, businesses and storage areas had been flooded in the towns of Andravida-Kyllini, Pinios, and Ilida.
Flooding in the Kourtessi area necessitated the shutdown of the national highway between Patras and Pyrgos for nearly half an hour, the official said, while in Vartholomio several roads were flooded. “Students in the primary school had to be removed by civil protection and 4×4 vehicles,” while facilities for younger children were evacuated for precautionary reasons in Varda, he added.
All regional agencies are on alert, Giannopoulos said, ahead of more rain and thunderstorms forecast in the coming days.
Floods threaten regions of Greece
Several parts of western Greece were hit by tornados, landslides, and heavy rain on Friday, causing damage to buildings and flooding on many roads throughout the region.
Particularly hard-hit was the Ionian island of Zakynthos. Several hotels were damaged when a tornado hit the area of Kalamaki, which is a popular tourist resort in the summer.
No injuries were reported.
According to the National Meteorological Service, the storm system is affecting Greece on Friday from the west, bringing strong rain, thunderstorms, and gale-force south south-westerly winds of up to 8 on the Beaufort scale (39-46 mph).
The weather phenomena which started in the Ionian Sea on Friday morning will gradually spread to Epirus, west mainland Greece, the western Peloponnese, and then to eastern Macedonia, Thrace, and the north Aegean.
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