One Dead As Floods Cause Extensive Damage Across Crete (video)



The partially-collapsed bridge in Platanias.  Photo by Kathimerini

Flooding from the winter storm “Oceanis” killed one person and extensive damage was recorded on bridges and roads in Crete as the extreme weather which began on Sunday continued to pummel the Greek island.

The body of a 61-year-old farmer who went missing when his car was swept away by the force of a rain-swollen torrent was recovered on Tuesday, about 10 km (six miles) from the spot where his car was picked up by the raging waters. The fatality occurred on a rural road near the swollen Vatoudiaris River in Crete.

The Athens National Observatory recorded more than 250 mm (9.9 inches) of rainfall in the region during the last three days, an amount which is equal to the total precipitation  Chania receives in several months.

On Monday afternoon, the historic bridge of Keritis collapsed on live television, with another bridge in Platanias partlially collapsing as well.

All the schools in the municipalities of Chania and Platanias remained closed on Tuesday, mainly as a precautionary measure. The same applied for primary and secondary schools in the region of Rethymno.

DEDDIE, Greece’s power distribution agency, stated on Monday that its men and women are doing their best, regardless of the adverse conditions, to fix all the problems that have been reported in networks across the region.

Greek Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis arrived on the island on Monday night and held a series of meetings with local authorities.

He announced that more than €10 million have already been transferred to the authorities of western Crete in order to fix the damage to the roads.

The Greek Army will also deploy military bridges to re-connect the villages which had been linked by the two bridges which collapsed yesterday. According to the minister, this will be only a temporary measure until the bridges can be rebuilt.

Western Crete suffered particularly extensive damage as the weather system dubbed ”Oceanis” swept across the western parts of the island on Sunday and Monday.