Greek PM pledges full support to flood-stricken as death toll rises to 10

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pledged full support to the flood-stricken during a visit to affected areas of central Greece on Friday, Greek national broadcaster ERT reported.

Meanwhile, Greek Civil Protection and Climate Crisis Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced that the flood-caused death toll has climbed to 10, while four people were still missing.

“We will do whatever it takes. I will also mobilize whatever European resources are available so that we can have additional support,” Mitsotakis said addressing local officials of Thessaly region in Karditsa city.

A relevant letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already been sent, he added.

Mitsotakis promised immediate steps to provide aid to households and businesses and restore critical infrastructures, as rescue operations continued to evacuate to safety dozens of people who remained trapped for several hours without water or food on roofs of homes in villages immersed in waters.

A severe storm dubbed “Daniel” by Greek meteorologists which battered Greece from Monday, hit Thessaly harder on Wednesday and Thursday, causing massive flooding and destroying houses, bridges, dams and roads.

The extreme phenomenon receded on Thursday, but a large part of Thessaly’s plain, a key agricultural production region of Greece, is still covered by water and mud.

On Friday, authorities warned residents of suburbs of the Larissa city to be on alert as the water level on one of Greece’s largest rivers was rising dangerously, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Between Tuesday and early Friday, the Fire Brigade evacuated 1,881 people and received 6,406 calls for help, according to the latest update.

Authorities said this is an unprecedented phenomenon. Although the same area had suffered greatly three years ago due to a storm dubbed “Ianos,” this time the areas affected are triple, Mitsotakis said.

Such heavy storm is recorded once every 300 years, Christos Zerefos, secretary general of the Academy of Athens and a leading expert in atmospheric physics and climatology, told local “Liberal” news site on Friday.

According to a previous estimate, the cost of disaster caused by “Daniel” will exceed 1 billion euros (1.07 billion U.S. dollars), Efthymios Lekkas, professor of dynamic tectonic applied geology and disaster management at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and president of Greece’s Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization (EPPO), told ERT. ■

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