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Storm Elias causes second wave of severe flooding in Central Greece

Storm Elias causes second wave of severe flooding in Central Greece setpember 27 2023

On September 27, 2023, a powerful weather system named Storm Elias brought a second wave of severe flooding to central Greece, particularly affecting the city of Volos and the island of Evia. The storm came on the heels of the devastating Storm Daniel earlier this month.

While communities in central Greece were still recovering from the aftermath of Storm Daniel, which hit on September 4 and 5, they faced the second heavy rainfall event with the arrival of Storm Elias on September 27, 2023. The second wave of torrential rains and thunderstorms struck areas such as Volos in Thessaly and northern Evia, causing more flooding and landslides.

In Volos, where more than 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain was recorded in just 24 hours, the downpour raised the waters of the Krafsidonas River to hazardous levels, echoing the recent flooding caused by Storm Daniel. Roads, basements, homes, and businesses were submerged, forcing authorities to restrict travel within the city. As of the last update, 15 motorists and pedestrians were evacuated from precarious situations, but dozens still remain trapped.

A coordinated emergency response has been activated, involving 50 firefighters, 28 fire engines, two forest operations units (EMODE), and one emergency rescue team (EMAK). They are working diligently to rescue people from flooded areas and pump out floodwaters. The suburbs of Mt. Pilio in Volos, already severely damaged by the previous storm, experienced additional infrastructure damage.

Evia, another severely affected area, faced problems such as landslides at Derveni in the north, blocking the island’s main north-south road axis. Power cuts and water supply disruptions occurred due to fallen trees on power lines. Furthermore, villages like Istiea and Pefki reported more landslides, and in Mantoudi, water levels rose over 1 m (3.3 feet), carrying dangerous debris from the mountains.

The weather front also brought hundreds of lightning strikes to Athens.

Citizens across several regions were advised to avoid unnecessary travel ahead of the storm. Schools in municipalities in the Peloponnese, Fthiotida, and Thessaly were closed for the day. Meanwhile, a special bulletin from the National Meteorological Service (EMY) forecasted heavy rain and thunderstorms for multiple areas including Thessaly, Sterea, the Peloponnese, and the Sporades, among others, on Wednesday.

Forecasts for Thursday anticipate strong rains and thunderstorms in parts of the region until midday, especially in the Sporades, Magnesia, Evia, Fthiotida, and Viotia.

The unfolding events hamper recovery efforts from Storm Daniel, which resulted in at least 17 fatalities and extensive damage to agricultural production in the region. Emergency warnings were sent to residents of Attica, and officials in Sterea, Western Greece, and the Ionian Islands were placed on high alert.

References:

1 Central Greece Flooded Again Following Storm ‘Elias’ – Greek Reporter – September 28, 2023

2 Storm Elias hits Attica and Central Greece – ekathimerini – September 27, 2023

Featured image credit: meteolive.gr (stillshot)

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