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A flooded area in Megala Kalyvia, Greece, on Saturday in the aftermath of storm “Daniel”. Photo: Reuters

Greek floods: death toll rises to 11, with 7 missing as authorities rescue hundreds more

  • A body of a 77-year-old man has been found on a beach in Pelion while an Austrian couple are among the missing
  • The local fire service says more than 2,850 people have been rescued since the start of the floods
Firefighters backed by the army were rescuing hundreds of people in villages in central Greece blocked off by floods, as the toll rose to 11 dead.

“More than 2,850 people have been rescued since the beginning of the bad weather,” the fire service said on Saturday.

“There are still many people in the villages around Karditsa, Palamas and toward Trikala. They are not missing, they are trapped,” the fire service added.

The body of a 77-year-old man, found on a beach in Pelion, in the centre of the country, brings the death toll from the flooding to 11, the fire service announced.

The man was living in the seaside village of Paltsi, in the mountainous Pelion peninsula. He had refused to leave his home, despite the entreaties of his wife, who evacuated. “I have been through storms,” he had told her.

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Greek civil protection authorities said on Saturday evening that another seven people were officially listed as missing, including an Austrian couple visiting the area around Pelion in the Thessaly region of northeastern Greece.


Several houses remain under water in the village of Palamas and rescuers were trying to reach marooned people, a journalist said.

“It was truly hellish,” said 54-year-old 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.

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“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 (eight feet) on the outskirts of Larissa,” Artopios said.


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

“We are devastated. More than 1,500 pigs have drowned – 70 per cent of our farm suffered damage,” said 58-year-old Thomas Kasos.


In the port city of Volos, the water supply has become a problem, since pumping stations and a large part of the supply network were damaged. The health ministry has warned that the water is not suitable for drinking.

A resident sits outside his property in Makrinitsa Pilio, Greece, on Saturday after storm ‘Daniel’ swept across central Greece. Photo: EPA-EFE

“Gastroenteritis cases have appeared and there is a risk of that increasing if people don’t have enough water,” said Elena Riza, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Athens School of Medicine.


“Authorities need to distribute at least two litres of drinking water to everyone.”

Traffic also remained challenging on Saturday with the highway connecting Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city, and the capital Athens cut off in several places.

The storm, named “Daniel”, struck the central coastal region of Magnesia on Monday and Tuesday before hitting other towns such as Karditsa and Trikala further inland on Wednesday.


Experts have described the event as “extreme in terms of the amount of water falling in a space of 24 hours”.

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The heavy rains and flooding follow devastating fires in Greece this summer that killed at least 26 people.

As the world warms, the atmosphere contains more water vapour which increases the risk of heavy precipitation in some parts of the world, notably in Asia, western Europe and Latin America.

Combined with other factors such as urbanisation and land-use planning, these more intense rainfall events contribute to flooding.

Severe flooding in neighbouring Turkey and Bulgaria this week left 12 people dead.

Additional reporting by Associated Press