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GREEK DEADLY FLOODS
Many towns under water
Seventeen people have been declared dead following the flash floods which hit
Greece early last week. All of the deaths occurred in the central Thessaly region.
Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and most recently Libya have all suffered extensive
flooding, with Storm Daniel the largest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone ever
recorded. In Libya around 20,000 are feared dead.
Much of Thessaly was turned into a giant lake including parts of Larissa and Volos,
the region’s largest cities. Given the large number of undocumented migrant
workers employed as pickers in Thessaly’s agriculture industry, the real death toll
is likely much higher.
Speaking on SKAI TV last Friday, Yiannis Hatzis, a resident of the town of Palamas,
said: “Dead livestock animals are floating past like they are boats and three to four
houses have been demolished. There is no co-ordinated response [from the
government]. Help should have been provided from the beginning.”
The floods have also affected the water supply system, leaving much of the
region, including Volos (population 90,000 plus), with no access to drinking water.
Power supply has been sketchy, with around 4,000 households across Thessaly
receiving no electricity a week later.
Scientists have raised the alarm over the public health risks posed by stagnant
flood waters and the vast numbers of dead livestock. There have been 198
confirmed cases of gastroenteritis reported in Thessaly, many of which have
required hospitalisation. There is also a spike in respiratory tract infections.
The government knew very well how climate change was making such an event
more likely. The Environment Ministry’s own maps from 2018 already flagged
most of the areas affected by the recent floods as high risk.
Three years ago, Thessaly was hit by floods during Storm Ianos. In response, the
government allocated €400 million supposedly to strengthen the region’s anti-
flood defences. But it is clear nothing was done.
Adelaide, South Australia