(Palamas Karditsa) Firefighters, supported by the army, continued on Saturday in Greece to help hundreds of residents of villages blocked by floods in Thessaly, which left eleven dead, according to the latest report from the authorities.
The body of a 77-year-old man was found on a beach in Pelion, in the center of the country, raising the death toll to 11 people.
“More than 2,850 people have been rescued since the start of the bad weather,” fire spokesperson Yannis Artopios said on the Mega television channel.
“There are still many people in the villages around Karditsa, Palamas and around Trikala. They are not missing, they are trapped,” he said.
Seven people remain missing according to Greek civil protection.
Several houses remain underwater in the village of Palamas and emergency services continue to work to help those trapped, noted an AFP journalist.
“It was truly hell!” », confides Eleni Patouli, 54 years old, resident of the village of Palamas.
“We were stuck without help or information for hours. The message from 112 to evacuate arrived even though we were facing the flood and we had no way to escape,” she explains to AFP.
Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed and many livestock have perished in this primordial plain for the agricultural sector in Greece.
“We are destroyed. More than 1,500 pigs drowned, 70% of our farm suffered damage,” laments Thomas Kasos, a 58-year-old breeder.
Visiting the region on Friday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised rapid compensation while reiterating that it is “an unprecedented natural disaster”.
But the situation also remains worrying near Larissa, a few kilometers to the east.
“We are experiencing great difficulties with the Pinios river, near the town of Larissa, which has overflowed and reached 2.5 meters high in the suburbs of Larissa,” he added.
Friday evening, civil protection sent a message to evacuate a district of the city threatened by rising waters.
In Volos, water supply remains problematic, with pumping stations and much of the water supply network having been destroyed during the storm.
“The water is not drinkable,” recalled the Greek Ministry of Health, citing cases of gastroenteritis.
Traffic also remained difficult on Saturday, with the highway between Thessaloniki, the country’s second city, and Athens being cut in several places.
Described by experts as an “extreme phenomenon in terms of the quantity of water that fell”, the storm named Daniel hit Magnesia on Monday and Tuesday, in particular its capital, the port city of Volos and the villages of Mount Pelion, before hitting localities around Karditsa and Trikala on Wednesday.
These bad weather follow devastating forest fires this summer in Greece, which left at least 26 dead.
With global warming, the atmosphere contains more water vapor (about 7% for each additional degree), increasing the risk of heavy precipitation events which, together with other factors such as urbanization, lead to floods.
In Turkey and Bulgaria, two countries bordering Greece, the torrential rains of recent days have killed a total of 12 people.