3 more found dead in deadly Greek flood

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say three more people have been found dead from a flash flood that hit a district west of Athens, raising the overall death toll to 19.

The fire department said the body of a man was found yesterday on the grounds of a factory near the suburb of Mandra, 25 kilometres (16 miles) north-west of the Greek capital.

The coast guard also announced that a patrol ship had found the bodies of two men in the sea, south of Mandra. A spokeswoman said the men, 59 and 29, had been identified at a hospital by their relatives.

All three bodies belonged to people known to have been missing since the flood hit Wednesday. Three more are still missing.

Wednesday's flash floods, which came after an overnight storm, turned roads into raging torrents of mud that flung cars against buildings, inundated homes and businesses and submerged part of a major highway.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed, and residents struggled with brooms and hoses to clear their properties of tons of mud, water and debris. Cranes were called in to remove smashed cars from atop walls and porches.

The flooding is one of the worst disasters to have hit the Athens area in decades. Several of those who died drowned, trapped in flooded homes and stores, while others were motorists carried away by the floodwaters. Two were men whose bodies were recovered by the coast guard after having been swept out to sea.

More bad weather, with heavy rainfall and storms, lashed the capital Friday, flooding a central road in the Keratsini area west of Athens, cutting off traffic.

The fire department said it had received 910 calls for help, in the western areas of the capital since Wednesday morning, to pump water from flooded buildings and transport people to safety. It said its crews rescued 96 people trapped in vehicles and homes.

The repeated storms led to another 70 calls for help to the fire department in other areas of the Greek capital and the nearby island of Aegina on Friday, and hundreds more from towns in northern Greece.

The Athens municipality said it was providing 2.5 tons of food and hygiene items, as well as clothing, bedding and medicine to those affected. Parliament announced it was giving 1 million euros to help residents in the flooded areas, while the Merchant Marine Ministry said it had arranged for a cruise ship docked in the nearby port of Piraeus to provide housing for those left homeless.

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