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UPD Four missing in Crete after vehicle was swept away by rushing waters

Four people have been missing since Saturday night, after the car was swept away by rushing waters in Geropotamos area of Messaras in Herakleio, Crete. A Search and Rescue operation launched by the Fire Service at 1 o’clock in the morning continues also on Sunday noon, however, without results.

Local media report that a 30-year-old driver, her husband, 29, mother 58, and sister, 21, were in the car. They were returning home after attending a wedding social event in Pompia. They did not know the area well, as they were living in Agios Nikolaos.

Short before the vehicle and the passengers went missing, the driver called police saying “We are drowning!” The call lasted 15 seconds. Immediately, the call of her husband to police followed. Before the mobile signal was lost, the woman could inform police about the location they were.

The driver had reportedly lost the way and tried to cross the swollen river.

The water height is at some point 3 to 4 meters, media report on Sunday.

Dozens of locals and volunteers are assisting the Search and Rescue operation where also the teams from the Coast Guard, the Police and the Rescue Service of the Fire Brigades EMAK participate. A fire service drone and an Augusta Bell helicopter of the Greek Air Force try to spot the vehicle from the air.

UPDATE 8:30 am Feb 18: Search operation continues on Monday morning, so far there has been no sign of the missing. Diver are to join the operation. Sunday afternoon, the tool kit of the car was found floating in the sea at Afrathia beach. The kit was identified to belong to the missing Hyundai.

Authorities have been repeatedly calling on motorists to be careful due to infrastructure damages, swelling rivers and streams and avoid precarious situations.

A 30-year-old driver was trapped amid rushing waters in Kato Gouves, Chania Prefecture, on Saturday afternoon. The local stream passing through the village had swollen, yet the woman attempted to cross it. The Fire Service rescued her.

Heavy rainfalls in the last three days caused huge damages in the infrastructure especially in the West part of Crete.

In Platanias Municipality, Chania Prefecture, houses in Palia Roumata and Lakkous have suffered sedimentation due to the soil erosion.

The path of Keritis river was diverted in order to prevent collapse of the bridge.

According to first estimations, the damages in the infrastructure in Chania Prefecture exceed 50 million euros.

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