Stranded British Tourists Amid Severe Storm in Greece
British tourists on the small Greek island of Skiathos have found themselves stranded as a severe storm batters mainland Greece and its islands, leading to extensive flooding.
Widespread Flooding and Street Torrents
The storm has caused streets to turn into raging torrents. Authorities in the central town of Volos, the nearby mountain region of Pilion, and on the island of Skiathos have banned traffic until the storm subsides. Videos shared on social media show torrential downpours transforming Skiathos’ streets into rushing rivers, with cars and boats being swept away. Tourists also report continuous thunder and lightning for approximately 12 hours, along with power cuts and flooding in hotel rooms.
Concerns About Returning Home
Stranded tourists are concerned about their ability to return home, with reports of disrupted flights. Holidaymakers have been advised to stay indoors and avoid using their cars.
Request for a State of Emergency
The island’s mayor has reportedly requested a declaration of a state of emergency due to the severe weather conditions.
Cancellations and Flight Diversions
Jet2 has canceled all its flights departing from Skiathos on Tuesday and Wednesday. A flight from London Stansted to Skiathos was diverted to Thessaloniki, with passengers accommodated in a hotel. Tui has informed its passengers that they will be contacted if further flights are impacted.
Fatalities and Missing Persons
Greece’s fire department reported one fatality in Volos when a wall collapsed on an individual. Five people were reported missing, potentially swept away by floodwater. Photos from Volos show efforts to clear debris and cars stuck in large sinkholes on the city’s roads.
Government and Meteorological Response
Greece’s Minister for Civil Protection, Vassilis Kikilias, stated that the storms were expected to ease after midday on Wednesday and urged people in affected areas to stay indoors. He noted that it’s the most extreme event in terms of maximum rainfall in a day since record-keeping began. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed concern about the changing nature of summers in Greece due to extreme weather events.
Heavy Rainfall and Impacts
Some regions, such as Pilion and Karditsa, are expected to receive exceptionally high rainfall, exceeding the average annual rainfall in the capital of Athens. The storm brings heavy rainfall, storms, hail, thunder, and strong winds to the Aegean.
Aftermath of Wildfires
This extreme weather event follows major wildfires that ravaged Greece in recent weeks, resulting in extensive destruction and casualties.