15 dead in Greece flash floods

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Pns: Flash floods caused by heavy overnight rain have killed at least 15 people and caused destruction in central Greece.

The industrial towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, west of the capital Athens, were the most affected.

Yianna Krikouki, mayor of Mandra, one of the most affected areas north-west of Athens, said residents "were trapped in their homes, the water is one meter (3 feet) high inside some houses, and (they) have no electricity and water." More than 20 people have been injured and one is still missing in a disaster that local media is describing as "biblical."

Speaking on Greek radio, Krikouki, said that there was "nothing standing in the entire area of Mandra" and the town is "now mourning its lost fellow citizens."

A man stands next to a damaged car stuck in floodwater in the town of Mandra, north-west of Athens.

A state of emergency has been declared in the West Attica region, where Mandra is located. Parts of the national highway system have been destroyed and many roads remain shut. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged.

Entire areas are without water or power -- one firefighter told local media that "a large part of the electricity network is severely damaged. We are doing what we can".

Over 20 schools will remain shut Thursday. One elderly local resident, who has been living in the area since the 1960s, told local media that she's never seen anything like the devastation she witnessed.

"I don't know what to do," she said to local TV channel Skai. "People have drowned in this very street."

The fire department has received more than 600 calls for help from the locals and dispatched nearly 200 firefighters.

“Access to the area is difficult; debris has nearly reached the height of homes,” said fire department spokesman Yiannis Kapakis.

More heavy rainfall was expected.

Several areas were experiencing electricity and water outages due to debris. Town officials said repairs could take up to five days.




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