FARKADÓNA, GREECE-Helicopters and lifeboats have been deployed to reach hundreds of stranded villagers in central Greece, as the death toll from deadly flooding rose to seven, authorities said Friday.
Firefighters worked alongside the army to reach villages cut off by rising water levels, which have transformed roads into rivers and left houses submerged in the central Thessaly region.
“We almost died yesterday, we didn’t have drinking water or electricity”, Mina Mprakratsi told AFP from a lifeboat, after being evacuated from her flooded house on Friday. Fierce storms have battered Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria following a period of extreme heat and devastating wildfires -- the kind of extreme weather climate experts say is becoming more frequent because of human-induced climate change.
Two elderly women and a 69-year-old man were reported dead Thursday, bringing the death toll to seven after torrential rains lashed parts of central Greece from Monday evening to Thursday. “It’s one of the most difficult moments of my life, the water came into the house yesterday evening (Wednesday), the children are with a neighbour”, local farmer Eleftheria Kotarela told AFP.
At least six people were reported missing in the Magnesia and Karditsa areas, 330 kilometres (205 miles) north of Athens.