28 September 2023

Storm Elias hits Greek city, filling homes with mud and knocking out power

28 September 2023

A second powerful storm in less than a month has hammered parts of central Greece, sweeping away roads, smashing bridges and flooding thousands of homes.

Storm Elias caused extensive flooding in the central city of Volos and left hundreds stranded in nearby mountain villages. The fire service carried out multiple rescues and evacuations, authorities said.

The city’s mayor, Achilleas Beos, told state television: “All of Volos has turned into a lake.

“People’s lives are in danger. Even I remained trapped, and 80% of the city is without power.

“I don’t know where God found so much water. It’s like the story of Noah’s Ark.”

Bad weather earlier this month struck the same area, killing 16 people, and causing more than two billion euro (£1.7 billion) in damage to farms and infrastructure.

Residents in Volos used plastic buckets to scoop mud out of their homes to try to protect their belongings. Among them was 83-year-old Apostolis Dafereras, who has lived in a suburb of the city since 1955.

“I have never seen anything like this,” Mr Dafereras said as he tried to push mud and flood water out of his home.

Authorities said the worst damage was reported around Volos and in northern parts of the nearby island of Evia, an area vulnerable to flooding due to the impact of massive wildfires two years ago.

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