Two people have been recovered dead and three are missing in Central Greece where Medicane IANOS struck with heavy intensity, flooded large parts of Thessaly and damaged infrastructure. The towns of Karditsa, Farsala and surrounding areas down to the outskirts of Volos are under water, and dozens are still waiting in homes, vehicles and pens to be evacuated on Saturday morning.
The water height of Holorema river that connects Volos with Almyros reported reached at some point 12 meters, then the bridge collapsed. It is one of three bridges that collapsed in the broader area.
Video: Mouzaki by Karditsa on Saturday morning via drone
Streams and rivers over-flooded, riverbeds, bridges and houses collapsed and landslides occurred.
Torrential rains brought down huge volumes of water, three times higher than in the other areas hit by medicane IANOS, meteorologists said. Local elderly speak of “unprecedented rainfall.” In some flooded homes, the water reached 2 meters high.
Fire Service, rescuers and municipality teams have been struggling all night and still on Saturday to bring people in safety.
Over 619 rescues were carried out in the last 12 hours, at least 2,453 calls to the Fire Service for assistance were made.
Three workers sought safety on tree branches, when their car was swept away by rushing waters as they were leaving the construction site where they worked. For ten hours the three man were waiting for rescue. Fire Service men were trying to reach them in a flooded area with not easy access by Almyros in Volos.
At the end, the operation was successful.
At least 300 people from a Roma settlement in Mouzaki were evacuated and transferred to a sports facility, one hundred more are waiting.
A driver from the same area reportedly ignored police and authorities safety advice and drove through. The car was swept away by the rushing waters of an over-flooded river. It is not clear whether another passenger was in the car.
According to mouzakinews, the car of the missing driver was found short before Saturday noon. The missing is a 43-year-old woman, a pharmacist, TV stations reported.
An elderly couple is missing in Karditsa. The roof top of their home collapsed during the storm.
An 86-year-old woman in Vassilitsa village by Farsala, and a 63-year-old breeder by Karditsa were found dead. The woman was leaving alone, the man was missing since Friday afternoon.
Part of the Health Center in Mouzaki collapsed and so did at least three houses.
In some cases, rescuers who tried to evacuate people were trapped in the floods as well.
Rescue efforts continue in the area. An operation is currently underway outside Farsala, where a car fell into flooded agricultural land. In ERT TV footage, the driver is seen on top of the sunk car, waving for help as firefighter try to approach him with a boat.
There is another operation to rescue another driver whose car was also swept away.
Medicane Ianos has moved further to the south -expected in Attica in the next hours – leaving behind incalculable damages in properties, agricultural land and infrastructure as it swept over the Ionian islands, Peloponnese, West Sterea.
sources: state ERT TV, karditsalive, cnngreece, and others