European monthly rainfall record broken in Crete, major floods destroy historic bridge of Keritis, Greece

European monthly rainfall record broken in Crete, major floods destroy historic bridge of Keritis, Greece

Major floods hit the Greek island of Crete on February 24 and 25, 2019, after heavy rainfall descended on the island for the second time in just 10 days. At least one person lost its life on February 24 and four more a week ago.

Between February 1 and 26, a meteorological station of the National Observatory of Athens located in Askifou, Chania recorded 1 202 mm (47.32 inches) of rain, breaking a pan-European monthly rainfall record in a residential area. The previous record was set in Grøndalen, Norway in 1989 with 1 190 mm (46.85 inches).

Askifou recorded astonishing 309 mm (12.16 inches) of rain from midnight to the afternoon of February 25. More than 250 mm (9.84 inches) of rain was recorded elsewhere in the prefecture.

From Saturday morning, February 23 until Tuesday morning, February 26, the area of Sembronas in Chania registered 496 mm (19.52 inches) of rain, which is 40.9% of its average annual rainfall.

The latest storm, named Oceanis by Meteo Greece, caused floods and landslides, forcing numerous high-water rescues across the island and closure of schools and roads.

A 111-year-old historic bridge on Keritis river, Chania collapsed and the event was recorded on video:

Exceptionally thick hail accumulations were recorded on the national road from Rethymnon to Heraklion:

Featured image credit: Πάμε Ρέθυμνο

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