The city of Larissa in Central Greece is under threat from the floods as the death count in Thessaly on Friday has reached nine.
The latest victim is a 69-year-old man who had been missing since Thursday night. His body was recovered from a Coast Guard boat in the Anavros area of Volos.
Following torrential rains earlier in the week the Pineios River, the biggest river in Thessaly, has flooded and authorities are evacuating hundreds of residents of villages in the region of Thessaly.
The water level has risen dangerously, with many houses already flooded. The villages near Larissa, Falani, Dasochori, and Koulouri have been evacuated.
Early on Friday, a message was sent to the villages of Farkadona, Klokoto, Georganades, and Petroporos in order to move due to possible overflowing of the Pineios River.
Aircraft have been operating in flooded areas between Trikala and Karditsa since midday Thursday.
Μαζικός απεγκλωβισμός από το χ. Βλοχός Καρδίτσας με Ε/Π CHINOOK του #ΣΞ #ΕΔ είμαστε παντού!! #ΓΕΕΘΑ #HNDGS #ΣΞ #ΠΝ #ΠΑ #ΔΕΠ@Hellenic_MOD @HAspokesman @NavyGR @HAFspokesperson pic.twitter.com/LAfk3L7Kks
— ΓΕΕΘΑ-HNDGS (@hndgspio) September 8, 2023
They include ten helicopters (three of them belonging to the Army) and a total of 67 individuals have been rescued. Of these, twenty-five were from Metamorfosi in Palamas of Karditsa, twenty-seven adults and a baby were from Agia Triada in Palamas (where six individuals are still missing), and fourteen individuals were from the greater area of Karditsa and Trikala.
The extreme weather has subsided and efforts are now being turned to rescue operations for the trapped and missing, the exact number of which remains unknown.
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.
— meteo.gr – Ο καιρός (@meteogr) September 8, 2023
Floods in Greece: More rain in 24 hours than London in an entire year
Hundreds of people remained trapped on Friday in their homes or on high ground in the central plain of Thessaly, which bore the brunt of Storm Daniel’s relentless deluge.
Homes were carried away by torrents, vital infrastructure was destroyed, and crops in the country’s second-largest tract of farmland were wiped out.
“I don’t think we have realized the magnitude of this disaster yet,” Professor Efthymios Lekkas, a disaster management expert, told state broadcaster ERT on Friday.
The three-day onslaught, in which a single region got more rain in twenty-four hours than London does in an average year, followed a massive wildfire in northern Greece and the country’s hottest summer on record.
The magnitude of the disaster led to the involvement of the Hellenic Armed Forces, with Defense Minister Nikos Dendias contacting the Chief of the Armed Forces Konstantinos Floros as he rushed back from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he was visiting.
The government’s sole focus has shifted to Thessaly, setting up an operations center in Larissa for the better coordination of all actions taken in Magnesia, Karditsa, Trikala, and Larissa, which will be in direct cooperation and coordination, centrally, with Civil Protection.
This is a developing story.