Hundreds of people rescued from flooded villages in Greece

Officials say many people are still trapped in central areas of the country hit by Storm Daniel

Sep 9, 2023

Firefighters backed by the army have rescued hundreds of people from villages in central Greece cut off by floods that have claimed at least 10 lives.

“More than 2,850 people have been rescued since the beginning of the bad weather,” Yannis Artopios, a fire department spokesperson told the broadcaster Mega on Saturday.

“There are still many people in the villages around Karditsa, Palamas and toward Trikala. They are not missing, they are trapped,” he said, adding that six people were officially missing.

Several homes remain under water in the village of Palamas and rescue workers were trying to reach marooned people.

“It was truly hellish,” said Palamas resident Eleni Patouli.

“We were stuck without help or information for hours. The [emergency services] 112 message to evacuate arrived just as we were facing up to the flooding and we had no means of escape,” she said.

The situation also remains worrying near the city of Larissa, a few kilometres to the east.

“We are having great difficulties with the Pinios River, next to the city of Larissa, which has overflowed and reached a height of 2.5 metres [8ft] on the outskirts,” Artopios said.

The flooding has laid waste to thousands of hectares of rich agricultural land and farmers have also lost many head of livestock.

“We are devastated. More than 1,500 pigs have drowned, 70% of our farm suffered damage,” said Thomas Kasos.

Water supply in the port city of Volos has become a problem because pumping stations and a large part of the supply network have been damaged. The health ministry has said the water is not suitable for drinking.

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