Ten people have died as a result of floods caused by Storm Daniel in central Greece, while another four remain missing in Volos and Mt. Pilio, Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Friday.
The Minister said authorities are on alert in regard to the Pinios River in Larissa, also in Central Greece. Overflooding affected the village of Yiannouli and town of Tyrnavos. Sections of Larissa were likewise flooded. Kikilias said instances of flooding may become more prevalent.
Kikilias strongly rejected rumors that claimed the government’s interventions in the area created a redirection of the river waters and called on people to “be careful with fake news that relates to human lives.”
“Overall, because of the…storm, ten of our fellow citizens have unfortunately lost [their] lives, while there are also four missing people in the regions of Volos and Pilio and we hope they are well, just as yesterday’s missing in the region of Agia Triadha were found safe and sound,” Kikilias said.
Since the rescue and evacuation operation by air and land began two days ago in the fourteen villages, 296 rescues have been carried out by helicopters of the Fire Brigade and the Armed Forces, the Minister said.
“Of these fellow citizens, 150 needed immediate medical attention, which was provided to them,” he noted.
Almost 2,000 people have been rescued from floods in Greece
As Kikilias noted, 1,700 people have been rescued in total, and there are twenty helicopters, including from the Fire Brigade (9), the Armed Forces (7), the Hellenic Police (1), and from Switzerland’s firefighters who were in Greece to fight wildfires (3). The latter three are being used to distribute food and water to flood-impacted villages.
The Fire Brigade’s and Armed Forces’ air support could not operate before midday Thursday, due to ongoing extreme weather and heavy lightning activity, the minister explained. Air and maritime rescue efforts, which began last night, will continue through Friday night, he said. There will be a thousand rescuers from Civil Protection and the Armed Forces.
Kikilias also thanked rescuers of the Fire Brigade and Army “who struggle in the flood waters for hours, helping trapped and isolated fellow citizens, and a great ‘bravo’ to volunteers in villages who help with their own means, showing humanitarianism and solidarity.”
Emergency alert for floods in Larissa, Central Greece
An emergency alert on 112 was sent on Friday to residents of the Ippokratis neighborhood in Larissa, Central Greece, to evacuate to the center of the city and the Alcazar Park in particular, because of flooding from the Pinios River.
The city has been on alert since Thursday, when city authorities warned businesses and farmers located near the river to evacuate for fear that accumulating water would rise even further.
Earlier, the city, which has seen floods in the past, had issued warnings to residents of the Larissa section of Yannouli to evacuate independently or with the help of the Fire Brigade. Otherwise, they were instructed to move to higher floors or to the Stadium of Neapoli.
Local government officials also sent out warnings to residents of the Agios Thomas District, where water overflowed from street drains onto ground floors of homes. Residents had to be evacuated by the Fire Brigade and were supported in leaving their homes and relocating to Filippoupoli or higher floors.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis reassured on Friday that he would do everything possible to provide assistance to flood-stricken residents of Central Greece.
During a meeting with mayors from affected areas at the Karditsa Town Hall on Friday, Mitsotakis emphasized the government’s commitment to aiding households in need and rapidly assessing damage.
“Our top priority the next few days is to ensure we can rescue our fellow citizens from areas in which they may be in danger, by air means or using boats, or special Army vehicles,” Mitsotakis said.