One dead, two missing as Crete hit by major flooding
ATHENS: A man was found dead and two people were missing on Saturday (Oct 15) after torrential rain brought major flooding to the Greek island of Crete, emergency workers said.
The victim, a man in his fifties, was trapped in his car as the rains began to fall in the southern Greek island, a popular holiday destination.
Local media reported extensive damage in seaside villages, where streets have become rivers carrying away everything in their path.
According to emergency services, a woman was slightly injured when she too became trapped in a car.
At least nine vehicles surrounded by water still need to be rescued.The emergency services received over 450 calls within an hour on Friday morning as the extent of the problem became clear.
Eight tourists and a security guard were also stranded in the Archaeological Museum in the coastal resort town of Sitia.
All the gorges on the island, popular hiking spots for tourists, were closed to the public until further notice.
The mayor of Sitia told the Skai TV channel, “The situation was out of control and the (weather) phenomena in the region were exceptional.”
Scientists say human-induced climate change is amplifying extreme weather — including the floods, heatwaves, droughts seen in several parts of the planet — and say these events will become more frequent and more intense.
A senior official for the Heraklion region, Nikos Syrigonakis, urged residents to limit their movements.
“This is a difficult day,” he added.
The Civil Defence department said it was mobilised and asked all citizens to be vigilant in Crete and the surrounding islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastellorizo and Kasos.