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Floods Day 16: Locals still struggle with mud, stench, disease risks and desperation

Sixteen days after the floods in Central Greece and people still struggling with dirty stagnant waters and mud, the stench of carcasses of thousands of drown animals, the questionable quality of drinking water and the threats of infectious diseases.

Not to mention the chaos regarding the initial compensations for the damages worth some 6,000-6,600 euros.

In some villages, citizens gather signatures to file lawsuits.

“At least 80 families experience an unacceptable as well as dangerous situation within the fabric of Volos, even if sixteen whole days have already passed since the storm Daniel and the floods,” reports local media

The local newspaper cites angry citizens from the area of Pagason who spoke with a local radio.

Water and mud accumulate daily in various parts of the roads and the sidewalks, even if a few hours earlier a tanker they hired pumped water.

Citizens complained that the municipality of Volos refers them to the private water company as the competent agency, while the officials of the water supply company state that they are trying with the means they have, to do the best they can for the city.

“It is an exposure of citizens at risk because these waters stink! No one has come to tell us responsibly what the damage is and when it will be repaired! We are asking for everyone’s help because we are in danger! Over 80 families live in the area!” a citizens complained.

Due to the outstanding stench, businesses cannot operate because potential customers stay away.

Now the residents of Pagason collect signatures with the aim to file a lawsuit against everyone responsible.

Water that appears again despite the pumping has been observed also in other flooded areas. Scientists have explained the phenomenon with the huge amount of water that affected the said areas. “The soil keeps giving the water back as it cannot absorb it,” a scientist told a TV channel a few days ago.

Half of dead animals not collected yet


Τα μισά απ' τα δηλωμένα νεκρά ζώα έχουν περισυλλεχθεί απ' τις λάσπες μια  εβδομάδα μετά | ΕΦΣΥΝ

Two weeks after the passage of bad weather Daniel from Thessaly, the situation remains dramatic. The wider area is trying to recover, however, everyday life remains difficult and the problems for the residents are countless.

Θεσσαλία: Αγώνας δρόμου για αποτέφρωση των νεκρών ζώων, καθαρισμούς και  άνοιγμα της εθνικής οδού

The main problem is the health safety, as there are still dead animals that have not been collected. More than 55,000 dead animals – mainly sheep, goats, cows, pigs and chicken- have been collected by specialized teams, while at least another 42,300 remain in water or in farms, plots, roads and sidewalks.

Υγειονομική «βόμβα» τα νεκρά ζώα στη Θεσσαλία: Κάτοικοι και στρατός τα  απομακρύνουν από τους δρόμους | Neakriti

Yet, many citizens had to remove the dead animals by themselves and with questionable safety measures, to avoid ‘asphyxiation’ from the stench and diseases fro the carcasses of the animals drown in the floods in September.

Gastroenteritis & other diseases

More than 180 cases of gastroenteritis have been reportedly detected in Thessaly, while the confirmed respiratory infections due to the situation prevailing in the flooded areas were recorded at more than 187.

The 26 health structures of the Greek NHS were visited by 1,429 people in the past 24 hours alone.

A total of 12 people are hospitalized with gastroenteritis and 15 with a respiratory infection.

Suspected cases of leptospirosis – a disease spread by rodents-  are also checked with the first samples being negative.

Two cases of salmonella were detected in two children, another two suspected cases are being investigated.

Dealing with mosquitoes is also a big issue, with the Deputy Minister of Health,  stating that today there will be results from the traps. There is particular concern about a possible outbreak of West Nile virus.

The Deputy Minister appealed to the citizens to observe the protection measures and to wait for the machines and crews that will assist in cleaning the mud.

She caused a surprise reaction when she said two days ago that “the… water in Volos was not drinkable even before the disaster.”

Chaos in compensation procedures


Locals complained to media about the first installment of compensations, a so-called initial aid so that flood-stricken residents can purchase households items and clothes and make some first repairs after their homes and busineeses were destroyed by the floods.

Γ. Σακελλαρίου: Μετεγκατάσταση θα ζητήσει το Τ.Σ. Μεταμόρφωσης - Μείζον πρόβλημα η έλλειψη πόσιμου νερού σε όλο το Δήμο

Local media karditsalive reported that citizens of Palamas plan to ask for relocation as the damages of the village are very big in homes, businesses, infrastructure, schools and other facilities.

Over 200 people are being left homeless. They are provisional hosted in community halls but they cannot live there for ever due to inappropriate conditions.

With households being damaged, the need for meals remains big, with the daily supply prepared by volunteers the municipality reaching 5,500 food portions.

The 150,000 state funding was spent in less than ten days, Palamas mayor said.


In some areas, people got compensation without even applying for it, while other who have applied did not, locals from Thessaly told TV channels.

In some areas, there are not clear instructions and people seek here and there and on social media for help.

Inspectors do not have lists of the houses and businesses they have to visit and write their report of the damages, so that people will receive the compensation, local media reported. According to the newspaper, “residents drag the inspectors by the hand into their houses and businesses.”

Some areas hit by the floods have been declared in “state of emergency” and locals get compensation even before their damage report, but others, like Volos are not in this status.

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