Scientists Have Been Warning for Years that Mandra was a Flood Danger Zone

A Greek professor of Geology revealed that the dangers from flooding in Mandra, where at least 15 people died on Wednesday, were studied by students at the University of Athens.

Dimitris Papanikolaou, Professor of Geology, said that it has been known for years that the area is a danger zone for possible flooding.

Yet, local authorities and central government took no notice of numerous research papers by postgraduate students who studied the geology of the area.

Papanikolaou said that his department chose Mandra as a case study, because it was an area where “human intervention and ignorance or indifference …was criminal.”

He revealed that a stream coming from the mountain about half a mile long was landfilled.

“The tragic part is that at the landfilled area, which was at the narrowest point of the stream, the municipality built a depot. Then a supermarket was built. The water’s passage was completely blocked,” Papanikolaou said.

He added that two people had died there from flooding in 1996. Three years later, shops and businesses were also flooded.

Authorities at the time announced urgent investigations but no meaningful action was ever taken, Papanikolaou said.