Greece's deadly deluge: Storm Daniel claims 15 lives
Amidst record-breaking weather patterns, Greece faced one of its most severe rainstorms, leading to significant loss and devastation. The torrential downpour began after Greece's historically warmest summer and came on the heels of already destructive wildfires.
On Sunday, rescue workers discovered the remains of four more victims in central Greece, increasing the death count to 15. This storm, named Daniel, has been identified as the most powerful since weather recording commenced in the nation in 1930.
Two individuals remain unaccounted for as of recent reports. The storm wreaked havoc from Tuesday, resulting in structural damages like collapsed homes bridges, and obliterated schools, roads, and utility poles. The agricultural plains of Thessaly suffered massive crop losses, while numerous animals tragically perished.
According to the Greek and international media, close to Karditsa's city center, one of the most severely affected zones, the bodies of three individuals - an 88-year-old woman and two men in their late fifties and mid-sixties - were discovered. A 42-year-old man's body was later found around Volos.
Residents caught in the flood's fury received airlifts or relocations using lifeboats. Authorities have reported the evacuation of over 4,250 people. Efforts are concentrated around Larissa city and River Pineios, which has seen significant overflows leading to further destruction in adjacent villages.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during his visit to Thessaly's central operation hub on Sunday, assured financial aid for the storm's victims. Emphasizing the state's commitment, he expressed the urgency to "heal the deep scars this catastrophe has inflicted."
Anticipating his upcoming meeting with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Strasbourg, Mitsotakis hopes to secure additional funds for Greece, addressing the unpredicted scale of destruction. The Prime Minister further shared plans to deliver his annual economic policy keynote, postponed due to the storm, on September 16. He expressed confidence in Greece's economy, highlighting its recovery from a decade-long debt crisis and its potential to endure such calamities with the European Union's backing.
Interestingly, Greece's recent disastrous deluge comes after a significant wildfire in the northern region. Scientists attribute Greece's vulnerable Mediterranean climate as a hotspot for global climate change, resulting in unpredictable and intensified weather occurrences.
Around the world, unusual weather patterns persist. Floods have inundated Scandinavia, southeast Europe, and Hong Kong. Conversely, India experienced its driest August, a record for over a hundred years.