Flash floods on Crete have destroyed entire areas of the island while two persons lost their lives according to the Greek Fire Department and local media reports.
The severe storms that struck the island Friday and Saturday have led to severe flooding, with rivers of water overflowing into the roads and the closing of the Iraklion airport. The last time Crete was caught this badly was in 2019, when massive landslides were the result of intense rainfall.
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Flash floods take the island by surprise
The floods have taken the island by surprise, washing cars out to sea and sending its residents scurrying for protection. Terrifying image of submerged fishing boats, overturned vehicles and flooded houses had made their rounds in the news and on social media since the storm began.
The floods hit the northeast coast of the island earlier today, bringing a deluge rain to Agia Pelagia, a village in the region of Heraklion, part of Malevizio municipality around 25 kilometers west of Iraklio.
Rapid change in weather hit the coastal city as well as the neighboring town of Lygaria. Houses in Chania, on the Western side of the island, were also hit. Locals from Lasithi received SMS warnings not to leave their homes.
The damage left in its wake has been extensive. More worrying than the loss of property however, is the mounting concern over loss of life. The Greek fire brigade rescued one during the floods. They confirmed two as dead however, and are still unable to locate and account for many more.
Storm causes havoc and loss of life
Hundreds of calls for help during the floods were made to the police and fire brigade in Crete and the Coast Guard has now joined the search. Several cars have been completely swept away. As for the Iraklio airport, no one evidently know when flights can resume, according to the manager Giorgos Pliakas.
In the city of Sitia, part of the Latsithi regional, the deluge trapped a museum guard and eight tourists in the island’s archeological museum. Four more people were unable to escape from their cars.
The worst case however is that of the two people who died at Agia Pelagia.
Flash floods are becoming increasingly common in Greece
Flash floods have recently become one of the Greece’s most common natural occurrences. In August of 2020, over 2,000 homes were damaged in Evia and the death toll swelled to eight. The island was also left without drinking water and the damage was in the millions. This was significantly more than the loss and damages caused on the second largest island in Greece in 2018.
The rains causing the flash floods have now stopped, but the island has been heavily damaged. Debris lines the beaches and many houses are now uninhabitable due to the flooding. The search for the storm victims is also still not over.