AFloods caused by strong storms also hit neighboring Bulgaria and Turkey, with a total of 18 people killed in the three countries.
Turkish rescuers today recovered the body of a 53-year-old man who had been missing since floods hit a campsite near the Bulgarian border, destroying bungalows, bringing the country’s death toll to eight. .
In Greece, divers and rapid water rescue specialists were deployed on the ground, while residents of some villages took refuge on the roofs of their homes, to escape floods that reached more than two meters.
Around 60 people were airlifted to safety, the fire department said, including some who told local media that they spent the night and most of today on rooftops without food or water.
Helicopters, which were continuing with rescue operations in the wider Karditsa area, were unable to fly earlier due to frequent lightning strikes, officials explained.
At least three villages in central Greece were completely cut off by the floods, with residents calling radio stations to report collapsed houses and appeals for rescue.
The most recent assessment by the Greek authorities increased the death toll by two.
Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, revealed that more than 885 people had been rescued so far and six were reported missing.
The military said it had mobilized more than 25 boats to rescue people trapped by the floods, while seven helicopters and a military transport plane were on standby.
“Our country is dealing, for the third day, with a phenomenon the likes of which we have never seen in the past,” stressed Greek government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis, noting that some areas received more than twice the average annual rainfall of Athens in the space of 12 hours.
The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, canceled a visit he had scheduled for this weekend to Thessaloniki (north) to focus on the response to the emergency situation, indicated government sources cited by the daily Kathimerini.
The vice-president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, of Greek nationality, confirmed that the community executive remains in “close contact” with local authorities with the aim of contributing to recovery operations in the affected areas.
This year, Greece has already turned to the community civil protection mechanism to respond to the recent wave of forest fires.
Also Read: New balance of floods in Greece reports 4 dead and 6 missing
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