Flash floods on the island of Evia on Sunday morning have killed an 8-month-old baby and two elderly, while information about a fourth dead is not officially confirmed by now. Torrential rainfalls hit the island from late Saturday night until Sunday morning, flooding homes and causing extensive damage in the infrastructure.
Many people are still trapped in their flooded homes, rescue teams are trying to move into safety.
Politika, Psachna, Pournos and Kampia, Bourtzi and Lefkandi, north and south of Evia capital Halkida, are the villages hit by the disaster, with Psachna and Politika to have suffered extensive damages.
The river in Politika over-flooded and tones of water and mud rushed through the village. Media report that in some homes the water reached a height of 2 meters.
A family of holidaymakers found their 8-month-old baby drowned inside the flooded home where they were accommodating. Drowned inside their homes are also an 85-year-old man and an 86 year-old woman.
There is information that an 39-year-old man has also lost his life in Bourtzi.
In Psachna, the capital of Dirfi Municipality, the river overflooded and tones of water and mud destroyed the area.
Dozens of elderly people are still trapped in their homes in the village of Pournos
In villages and settlements south of Halkida, firefighters are unable to reach the flooded houses as the road network has been damaged. Helicopters are expected to be deployed to rescue residents and holidaymakers from roof tops.
In Bourtzi and Lefkandi, families with children and elderly were rescued with digging machines.
By 12 o’clock noon, the Fire Service has received 495 calls from people trapped in homes and vehicles. People started to call as of 1 o’ clock in the morning seeking help. Rushing waters had swept them away while they were driving, others had sought refuge on tops of houses and other buildings, or on trees.
Campers in trailers and tents in Politika experienced the sheer nightmare. Rescuers were not able to reach the specific area, the Coast Guard had to be called in as access was possible only by sea.
So far, a total of 45 rescues have successfully taken place, 14 of them with helicopters.
Several of the affected areas are without water and electricity, while telecommunications are difficult.
Short after 1 o’clock Sunday noon, head of Civil Protections Nikos Hardalias said that the number of dead was 5, while the number of missing people was 2.
Asked as to why the Emergency Number <112> did not warned locals of the coming disaster via their mobiles, Hardalias said “in order to avoid panic.”
According to Ant1 TV, 2,500 homes have sunk in the mud.
Traffic to and within Evia has been interrupted in several areas.
The island of Evia has been frequently hit by extreme weather phenomena also in the past.