ATHENS (AFP): Heavy flooding forced schools to close across Athens on Friday, triggered a false earthquake warning, caused widespread damage and left an elderly shepherd dead, officials said.
The second storm to pummel Greece in a week struck nationwide on Thursday, lashing the greater Athens area, the Ionian islands and the northern peninsula of Halkidiki.
Authorities said schools and most public services across the capital would be closed Friday as a precaution and shut down one of the capital’s main motorways overnight.
On Thursday, the weather disruption threw off sensors at the Athens observatory, triggering the erroneous report of a 5-magnitude earthquake near the Aegean island of Naxos before a correction was issued.
“We are in a phase of climatic crisis, new infrastructure is needed,” Efthymios Lekkas, professor of disaster management at the University of Athens, told Skai TV.
The fire department said it had been called to assist in over 1,400 flood-related incidents, including nearly 500 on the island of Corfu.
The body of an elderly shepherd, missing since Thursday on the island of Evia, was found in a torrent after his car was washed away, the fire department said.
On the island of Ithaki, mooring walls at the port of Vathy had to be hastily demolished to let floodwater through, the local mayor said Friday.
On Sunday, an earlier storm front battered the island of Evia, flooding homes and tearing up roads just weeks after destructive fires had devastated local forests and agricultural land.
Dozens of Evia villagers were urged to evacuate hours before the storm front hit.