November 25, 2019 / 7:25 AM / 16 days ago

Three die as heavy storms and flooding hit Greece

Rescuers stand on a pier as they try to pull up a body using nets after a storm in Antirio, Greece, November 24, 2019. Picture taken November 24, 2019. REUTERS/Vassilis Delimaris NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

ATHENS (Reuters) - Three people died in torrential rain and thunderstorms that caused widespread flooding and disrupted transport in Greece on Monday, officials said.

Two drowned when their moored sailing boat sank in the seaside town of Antirio, coastguard officials said. An elderly bedridden woman was later found dead in her flooded home on the island of Rhodes, local officials said.

In a weather front which the Greek meteorological service has called Geryon or Geryones after a giant of Greek mythology, parts of the road network to the Peloponnese peninsula were cut off for hours because of flooding, police officials said.

In Kineta, a beach town west of the capital Athens, extensive damage was recorded to the road network from rockfalls from surrounding hills, with roads and gardens submerged in mud. The region suffered a major forest fire in 2018.

The storms first hit late on Sunday and the civil protection service had urged municipal authorities to be on alert.

The fire department received dozens of calls to pump water from premises while schools in the Athens region opened two hours late on Monday because of the weather.

Twenty-four people were killed when flash floods hit the town of Mandra west of Athens in Nov. 2017, and seven were killed in a freak storm in northern Greece in July 2019.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Michele Kambas; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Timothy Heritage

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