Four killed as flash floods hit Crete, Greece

Four killed as flash floods hit Crete, Greece

Flash flooding hit the Greek island of Crete on February 16 and 17, 2019, sweeping away one vehicle with four people inside. The island was hit hard by a cold front affecting parts of the country since last week with heavy rain and strong winds.

According to the Greek national news agency AMNA, a young woman made a telephone call to the Fire Brigade at around 01:00 local time, February 17 that the car her husband was driving was being swept by overflowing Geropotamos River at the outskirts of Rethymno city.

Bodies of all four people, a young married couple, the wife’s sister and her mother, were found on Monday, February 18. They had reportedly been returning from a wedding celebration when their car was swept away by floodwaters. Two calls were made to emergency services from the car, but rescue crews were unable to reach them in time despite a massive search operation, The National Herald reported.

Ships were docked at ports until Saturday due to gale force winds, while farmers have reported a lot of damage due to flooding, according to AMNA. 

According to WMO figures, 75 mm (2.95 inches) of rain fell in Kissamos in 24 hours to February 17. From February 12 to 17, Sempronas recorded a total of 461 mm (18.14 inches) and Askifou 434 mm (17.08 inches).

Featured image credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS. Acquired February 16, 2019

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