The small town of Mandra, west of Athens, is in a state of shock following Wednesday’s floods that claimed the lives of at least 16 people.
As emergency services continue to search for at least six missing persons, locals express anger and despair.
Dozens of businesses have been destroyed. “It was like a tsunami,” Evangelos Kolovetzos, a local shop owner, told the Agence France-Presse. (AFP)
“The water in my house rose to 3.5 metres,” said Sotiris Loukopoulos, whose pharmacy is the only one that is still open in Mandra.
“Five pharmacies were destroyed, we are still operating because we are on higher ground,” he told Athens municipal radio, as residents tried to clean their yards with shovels and hoses.
“We are ruined. My tavern and my house are gone,” said Paraskevas Stamou, a restaurant owner in Mandra.
“We are expecting another downpour tonight. It’s like God hates us,” he told Reuters.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras while visiting Mandra on Thursday, expressed his shock.
“We are all shocked with what we saw. Obviously this is a rare and extreme weather phenomenon.
However, this extreme phenomenon worked the way it did because of the accumulated inertia, the accumulated problems and the lack in infrastructure projects, but also in the town planning,” he said.
Tsipras said that his government is committed “to proceed with the immediate reconstruction work, healing of wounds and restoration of property, whether it concerns households or businesses.”
Critics pointed out that the prime minister did not meet the local people affected by the floods. They say that he carefully avoided entering the centre of the town out of fear that he would face their anger.