ATHENS, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) — Dozens of people were evacuated in western Greece and greater Athens on Thursday, as torrential rains swept through the country. A motorist was also reported missing.
A rescue operation was underway in an Athens suburb to locate a car that eyewitnesses said had been swept away by floodwaters, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
At least 11 motorists were evacuated by authorities in the Attica region, Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said during a press conference.
The Fire Brigade had received more than 340 calls to pump out water in flooded sites in Attica alone, he added.
“We are facing a dangerous weather phenomenon, very serious, especially in some areas. We have a difficult two days ahead of us. There should be no complacency, either from the state or from the citizens,” the minister stressed, according to national broadcaster ERT.
A state of emergency was declared on the island of Corfu in western Greece, which has been hit hard by the storms. A helicopter and military personnel were mobilized to assist local authorities in evacuating dozens of stranded citizens.
All schools and universities on Corfu, as well as in Attica, on Evia island, and on the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece will remain closed on Friday as a precaution, the minister said. Citizens are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.
In a district of Athens on Thursday, dozens of schoolchildren were stranded at school due to flooding, and the main avenues were shut for hours. In a southern suburb on the coast, bus passengers were evacuated by firefighters, while many parts of the Greek capital experienced power outages.