Greek authorities have started a search and rescue mission after swirling winds and torrential rain brought flash floods to Southern Greece and three people are missing on the island of Evia.
The storm has been moving slowly in a northeasterly direction, affecting Aegean Sea islands as well as Greece’s central mainland. It is expected to hit parts of northern and northeast Greece later in the day.
Gale-force winds led to power cuts and falling trees across the country. Firefighters have so far received more than 1,300 calls for assistance to help evacuate people trapped in cars and flooded homes and to remove trees and other debris.
Giannis Trafyllis, Civil Protection Secretary says, ” The damaged areas will be declared a state of emergency”
The national road is completely closed. The civil protection service warned that northern and central Greece could also be affected and called on citizens to take self-protection measures.
The hardest-hit areas so far have been around the cities of Corinth and Argos in the Peloponnese peninsula, which was hit by the storm Saturday, and the northern part of the island of Evia, off central Greece, where the three people went missing Sunday.
The storm also flooded roads in Athens and forced evacuations from the Peloponnese seaside village of Nea Kios.