The northern part of the island of Evia, Greece was hit by floods on Wednesday following torrential rains brought on by the weather system Elias.
More than 40 homes in the town of Rovies on the island’s northwest coast have been flooded as a result of the river that runs through the community overflowing its banks.
Rescue workers are trying to evacuate those who are trapped in these flooded regions, with reports of some of them being trapped inside their own homes.
The local mayor, Thodoris Keris, expressed fears of immense damage.
“So far, at least 40 houses, hotel basements and businesses, have been flooded. Cars have been destroyed. We are talking about total destruction,” he told Proto Thema.
“Unfortunately, we are paying for the sins of mayors and vice-mayors decades ago. They closed rivers, dammed rivers, made them smaller. It has been raining continuously since four in the morning. The weather will eventually punish you,” he added.
Other towns in Evia hit by floods
Limni Mayor Giorgos Tsapourniotis characterized the situation as “dangerous” and urged residents to limit travel. He stated that the western part of the municipality, stretching from Rovies to Limni, is now strewn with debris, “as the entire mountain has cascaded into the settlements.”
Similar critical conditions are being observed in the tourist resort of Pefki. Rivers have surged, coursing through the settlement, leading to the entrapment of numerous people.
Storm Elias has also impacted Halkida, Evia’s capital. Since 4 a.m., there has been a significant volume of water pouring into the city.
The fire department has been actively involved in pumping water from flooded basements. Shortly after 5 a.m., a power outage occurred in a vast area north of Halkida.
Storm in Greece will intensify, meteorologists warn
The storm with hundreds of lightning strikes hit Athens in the early hours of Wednesday.
Residents in Athens and several other regions of Greece received text messages through the 112 European Emergency Number on Tuesday, warning them of severe thunderstorms and hailstorms. Authorities advised residents to “avoid moving outside unnecessarily.”
The Elias weather system affects other parts of Greece, as meteorologists warn that on Wednesday and Thursday, the weather phenomena will intensify.
The new weather front follows the deadly floods that followed Storm Daniel, which hit Thessaly earlier in September. At least 17 people are known to have died from the floods while the agricultural production of the region was severely damaged.
On Wednesday, the phenomena will worsen further and mostly affect the central, eastern, and southern parts of the country.
Their intensity is forecast to be greatest in eastern and southern Thessaly, Evia, the Sporades islands, central and eastern parts, and the Peloponnese. The central and northern parts are expected to receive the most rain.
The regions that will be affected include the prefecture of Attica and the city of Athens. Rains and storms will also forecast on several Aegean islands and Crete, especially in the prefecture of Chania.