Hundreds are stranded due to the unprecedented floods in Greece. In the dramatic photo above is the agonizing moment a father, his two sons, and the family dog swam to their safety as floods turned the village of Palamas in Thessaly, located in Central Greece, into a giant lake.
The video was shot by a neighbor who is heard offering encouragement to the family and blaming the state authorities for the floods.
He is heard calling on the army to help with evacuations. After a long swim in the muddy waters, the father, children, and dog managed to reach safety.
Παλαμάς Καρδίτσας. Απίστευτο σκηνικό.
Η απελπισμένη προσπάθεια ενός πατέρα να σώσει τα δύο μικρά παιδιά του και το σκυλί του, με ένα φουσκωτό στρώμα θαλάσσης.
«Κοιτάξτε τα παιδάκια. Θα πνιγεί ο κόσμος. Κοιτάξτε πού μας καταντήσατε… Πού είναι ο στρατός; Έστω μια βάρκα. Κοιτάξτε… pic.twitter.com/d4Xk2oGpyY
— Areti Athanasiou (@AretiAthanasiu) September 7, 2023
In another video from Palamas in the region of Karditsa, residents are seen on the rooftops trying to avoid flooded areas.
Authorities deployed divers and swift water rescue specialists as residents in some of the worst-hit areas took refuge on the roofs of their homes to escape floodwaters that rose to more than two meters (six feet).
Helicopters have been rescuing trapped residents as Palamas and neighboring villages have been without electricity and water since early Thursday.
People are trying to salvage what they can of their properties on their own. Authorities, they claim, are largely absent.
Storm Daniel, which has battered Greece since Monday, triggered landslides, destroyed a bridge, caused the collapse of power poles, and carried away dozens of cars in muddy waters, just days after a deadly wildfire in the northern part of the country.
Death toll from floods in Greece climbs to 6
The death toll from the floods following torrential rains in Central Greece is now at six, while at least three people are missing.
The latest casualty is a 51-year-old farmer whose body was found in a ravine near the village of Petroto of Domokos in the Fthiotida region on Thursday.
The hardest hit area from the floods is the plain of Thessaly. Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s minister for climate crisis and civil protection, said more than 885 people had been rescued so far and six were reported missing.
“Our country finds itself, for the third day, dealing with a phenomenon the likes of which we have not seen in the past,” Pavlos Marinakis, a Greek government spokesman, said. He noted that some areas received more than twice the average annual rainfall of Athens in the space of twelve hours.
“The state’s absolute priority at the moment is the rescue…of people from the areas hit by the bad weather and the protection of critical infrastructure,” Marinakis confirmed.
On Tuesday the city of Volos, Mount Pelion, and the island of Skiathos were devastated. In Volos, thunder, lightning, and heavy rainfalls continued undisturbed.
Many areas of the city had been without power for more than thirty hours by late Wednesday evening, resulting in the water supply being cut off.
North and South Pelion were cut off from the city of Volos while many villages could not be accessed due to landslides and fallen trees.
On Wednesday, stormy weather moved westwards and southwards, causing floods in the regions of Karditsa, Trikala, and Evia.
The Greek police called on drivers to avoid unnecessary travel both on the national road network and local roads where severe weather phenomena were observed and warnings were issued.
A message via the emergency number 112 was sent to residents of Sofades, Karditsa, and Pyli, Trikala, instructing them to avoid underground and ground floors in buildings.
The area of Rovies in Northern Evia is being tested on Thursday as several houses have been flooded following torrential rains. Firefighters and rescue teams rushed to the area to remove people trapped in homes. Problems have also come up on the road network.
The storm has also hit Athens causing flooding and chaos on streets. Heavy rain began on Wednesday morning, but by 4:00 PM local time, the situation significantly worsened as the city and its suburbs were hit by heavy downpours and lightning.
— Stella ☘ (@stellaki70) September 6, 2023
Due to heavy rainfall, the streets of Athens have turned into “rivers.”
Photos and videos appeared in social media with cars in flooded areas. Citizens have been knocked down by stormy streams of water.
Some have tried to fight the flood on their own, clinging to poles and trees. Passers-by have been helping each other to get on their feet amidst the downpour.
The National Meteorological Service (EMY) has forecast heavy rain and thunderstorms until Thursday afternoon in Thessaly, the Sporades islands, northern Evia, and parts of central and eastern Central Greece (Sterea Ellada).
This is a developing story.