ATHENS — Six people, including an en elderly couple and an 8-month-old baby, have been found dead as a storm hits the island of Evia in central Greece, authorities said Sunday. Two others is missing, and dozens have been trapped by flood waters in their homes and cars.
Police say the couple, 86 and 85 years old, were found unconscious in their flooded home Sunday morning, in the seaside village of Politika, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of the capital Athens. The baby was found in a ground floor apartment in the same village. The local mayor reportedly said that the baby and its family were not local residents and were on holiday there.
Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias confirmed the deaths and added that there were two more fatalities and two people are missing. The names of the dead and missing were not released.
A river has burst through its banks and flooded part of the village of Politika. Other parts of the village are intact. Many residents have climbed to the rooftops of their homes and the fire service has sent a rescue helicopter to the area.
Heavy rain started falling at about midnight Saturday and firefighters responded to over 50 fires caused by lightning. The fire service said it was also called to rescue dozens of people and help many others drain flooded homes. By early afternoon, 47 people had been safely evacuated from their homes and cars, 8 by helicopter, and about 450 homes drained of floodwaters, the fire service said.
Many local roads are impassable, police said. Road connections to the mainland — there are two bridges connecting Evia to Central Greece — have been cut and only a ferry service is operating at the moment.
Woman missing found alive
One of the two missing in Evia floods was located on Sunday afternoon alive and was rescued by a helicopter. The missing woman was swept away by flood water while attempting to leave her house in Bourtzi.
The second missing is a man who was with the woman and was also swept away by flood waters. In the same area were found two, a 74-year old man and a 73-year-old woman, of the five dead.
The rescue operation continues to locate the other missing.
PM Mitsotakis to visit flood-stricken Evia on Monday
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit on Monday the flood-stricken areas on Evia. In a post on his twitter account the prime minister said "I express my deep sorrow for my compatriots that lost their lives on Evia and I send my condolences to their families. I am being constantly briefed on the course of the rescue operations and on the extent of the disaster and tomorrow I will visit the stricken areas".