Greece’s emergency services have begun the cleanup of debris and are searching for people potentially still trapped by floodwaters after a storm and subsequent flash floods this weekend at Evia Island left seven people dead and one missing.
The reports from the mountainous island say one elderly couple found were found in their flooded home Sunday, and that an 8-month old infant was also found in a submersed ground-floor apartment.
Parts of Evia Island were pummelled by torrential rainfall equal to 80% what normally falls in a whole year. Greece’s meteorological service said the rainfall occurred over the course of just a few hours. In the aftermath, rivers overflowed their banks flooding part of Politika Village, where residents were forced onto their rooftops by the deluge.
The scene was repeated in other villages of the island with cars and massive debris being scattered all over the villages and the countryside. Mud and other debris clogged houses, stores, and streets of the affected villages.
The Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias told reporters the names of the dead and missing. One missing older woman was found floating off the coast on top of a bureau chest she’d climbed aboard as floodwaters crashed through her home.
Lightning strikes set off dozens of fires that tasked firefighters on the island. By Sunday afternoon, over 600 homes were drained of floodwaters according to the fire services.
Evia is the second-largest Greek island in area and population, after Crete.