Greece declares state of emergency in Evia, Thessaloniki areas

The Greek Government declared a state of emergency on the island of Evia and civil protection measures in Macedonia, following the devastating storms over the weekend.

Civil Protection Secretary General Vassilis Papageorgiou stated that the areas under emergency measures include Chalkida and Dirfi-Messapies on the island of Evia, and the area of Lagadas in Thessaloniki’s metropolitan area.

These special designations will be in effect for six months in these regions. According to the Civil Protection authority, this was done “to deal with emergencies and manage the consequences of severe weather events (heavy rainfall and strong winds) that occurred from August 6 to 9, 2020.”

The communities of Anthidona, Stroponas and Agia Sofia on Evia, as well as Ardamerio in Macedonia, are already under emergency status, the agency added.

The death toll from floods triggered by thunderstorms that hit Evia, rose to 8 authorities announced on Monday.

Among the victims was a 8-month-old baby from the village of Politika, who passed away after slipping from the hands of his father, who lost his balance from the rushing waters.

“The torrent caught them while they were asleep. The frightened father got up, picked up the baby and ran with his wife to leave the house. As soon as they opened the door of the house to get out, the torrent pushed them and the baby slipped from his arms. The mother was shouting for her child, they had no electricity, they could not see anything, it was pitch dark and they were all swept away by the water,” a local resident told media.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday afternoon also visited the flood-affected areas in Evia. After assessing the situation, he said that the state will stand by Evia residents and businesspeople who lost their properties.