The intensity and duration of the unprecedented torrential rain in Greece has put all related authorities under great pressure to respond to the emergency, Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias said during a briefing on the ‘Daniel’ weather phenomenon on Wednesday.
Daniel dumped record breaking amounts of water in Greece as of Wednesday, particularly in Thessaly (central Greece) and nearby regions. Two people died, four are still missing, while two formerly missing Austrian tourists were found safe and sound, Kikilias said, while the storms did great damage to infrastructure, homes, and businesses.
Civil Protection, the Fire Brigade, Hellenic Police, the emergency ambulance service (EKAV), the Armed Forces, and local government organizations have given their alll, he underlined. Civil Protection had issued warnings and directions to regional and municipal authorities about the weather forecasts since September 1, he added. Authorities also worked on restoring critical infrastructure such as power supply, which also affected the supply of water.
Operating in Thessaly and Central Greece are a total of 360 firefighters with 158 fire engines and several units of the emergency rescue service (EMAK). They have carried out 552 water-pumping operations, 172 rescues of 417 citizens, and a total of 14 warning text messages sent by the emergency service number 112.
Cars on the Athens Thessaloniki National Highway, where traffic was suspended between Nikea near Larissa to the borders of Magnissia (Magnesia) region due to the weather, were diverted to safe roads, the minister said.
Flights at the Skiathos airport were restored, while the port of Volos (Magnissia, in central Greece) is out of operation for reasons of safety, he added, while the Kala Nera bridge in South Pilio has been inspected and the army will restore it.
Kikilias said the powerful storm will last until Thursday night.