Three elderly people die in Greek flash flooding

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 07, 2016 5:01 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Three people died in widespread flash floods from heavy rains which lashed Greece overnight, the country's fire brigade said on Wednesday.

The three victims, all elderly, died at separate locations in the Messinia province, in the southern Peloponnese peninsula hardest hit by extreme weather conditions.

"I have never seen anything like it, said Panagiotis Nikas, mayor of the southern city of Kalamata.

"About 140 millimetres of rain fell in an hour this morning ... Can you imagine that? It hasn't stopped raining since yesterday at lunchtime," he told Reuters.

Seven communities in the wider region were cut off by floods, with extensive flood damage. The area is a vast plain where farming is the main activity.

Extensive damage was also reported in Greece's northern city of Thessaloniki, where television images showed cars washed out to sea or piled up from torrential rain. The fire brigade reported it received more than 500 distress calls.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, writing by Michele Kambas)