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Storms Batter Greek Island as Government Prioritizes Adapting to the Effects of Climate Change

September 27, 2023

ATHENS — Torrential rain swept across central Greece on Wednesday damaging roads, flooding homes and causing power outages on the island of Evia, as the government declared that adapting to climate change has become a national priority.

Army and municipal crews cleared debris from the roads near the flood-hit towns of Limni and Mantoudi in the north of the island, where the Fire Service reported receiving dozens of calls from flooded households for assistance.

Authorities remain on alert in central Greece and nearby islands where a massive storm caused extensive damage earlier this month and left 16 people dead. The government said the initial estimate of the damage exceeded 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion), with infrastructure repair alone expected to cost nearly 700 million euros ($735 million).

Greece has been promised emergency funding from the European Union and is renegotiating details of existing aid packages to target more funds to cope with the damage caused by wildfires and floods.

“I will restate the obvious: The frequency of (weather) assaults due to the climate crisis is something that requires us to integrate civil protection (in our response),” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a Cabinet meeting Wednesday. “Adaptation to the climate crisis is a fundamental priority in all our policies.”

The weather is expected to improve Friday.

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