ATHENS (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed when torrential rain and thunderstorms caused flash flooding on the Greek island of Evia over the weekend, officials said on Sunday.
Three of the victims, including a baby, were found in the village of Politika and another four in the village of Amfithea and the area of Bourtzi in central Evia, northeast of Athens, fire brigade officials said.
Rescuers were still searching for one missing person.
“We have been in the mud since six in the morning. There was nothing I could do, I climbed up onto the table to save myself. I was alone,” a Bourtzi resident told Reuters.
The fire department received hundreds of calls to pump water from homes and vehicles submerged in mud.
Dozens were evacuated and 43 people were rescued by helicopter as roads flooded an area where a river had burst its banks. Transport was widely disrupted.
“We are faced with phenomena that we haven’t experienced before,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, who visited the area, told reporters adding that climate change is make it harder to predict their intensity.
Authorities had expected 63mm of rain to fall within 24 hours, but the latest confirmed measurement showed 350mm of rain, he said.
Climate change is expected to intensify weather events in Greece where summers are usually dry, experts have said. Thunderstorms are rare but they have become more frequent in recent years.
Reporting by Renee Maltezou, additional reporting by Stelios Misinas; editing by David Evans and Andrew Heavens
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