Anger Simmers in Greece Two Weeks After Deadly Floods

Residents of the flood-stricken region of western Attica can, as of Wednesday, apply for an aid of 5,000 euros, to start rebuilding their homes.

Two weeks after the floods that claimed the lives of 23 people, residents of Mandra and Nea Peramos are still clearing their homes and businesses from the tons of mud and debris.

Although the aid is welcome, residents are becoming increasingly angry over delays in the restoration efforts.

At a meeting of the regional council on Monday evening, local residents expressed their anger at the leader of the council Rena Dourou.

They complained about delays, a lack of a clear timetable for the restoration work and bureaucratic barriers.

To claim the aid, those affected will have to bring their application to the town hall of Mandra, and submit it along with a photocopy of a police ID or passport, pictures of the destroyed building (inside and outside) and a recent utility bill.

Some say that some of the documents required have been destroyed in the floods.

After the procedure for private citizens has been completed, a new procedure will be announced for businesses.

Officials have blamed the disaster — one of Greece’s deadliest floods in decades — on poor town planning and insufficient flood prevention measures, as much of the afflicted area had been built on filled-in torrent beds.

Torrents of water descending from a nearby mountain turned roads into racing rivers of mud and debris in the modest working-class district of Mandra and nearby Nea Peramos, flung cars into buildings, swept away walls and inundated a major highway.

70% of homes damaged

Using satellite imagery, European Union rescue services estimated that nearly 7,000 people had been directly affected in an area of about 740 acres.

Government crews said about 70 percent of the homes they had inspected in Mandra were seriously damaged or destroyed, leaving a lasting scar in the blue-collar town of 12,000 people.

According to the latest figures provided by the Greek authorities, 1,512 homes and businesses are in need of restoration.

Despite the scale of the damage, no one was reported homeless, and survivors are finding shelter with family and friends, or hotels.