Saturday 16 October 2021

The calm before the storm

Stunning sunset the day before storm Ballos hit the whole of Greece. Storm Athena lasted for almost a week. Two days later, Ballos was upon us. The downpour did not let up all day on Thursday, accompanied by thunder and lightning. There were times when we looked out of the window and could see nothing because the curtain of water was so thick and fast. We all got an alert on our mobiles asking us to stay indoors, to only go out if absolutely necessary and to be vigilant about flooding - this was only the third alert we've had in the last four months: the first one was about the pandemic, and the second one about the fires that ravaged the country two months ago.

A lot of roads were closed due to flooding and some people's homes got flooded.  Schools and and non-essential public services stayed closed on Friday. The storm ripped masonry from the building of the Greek Parliament. We were all horrified to see a bus totally submerged (except for the roof) under a bridge on the sea road, which was closed immediately afterwards: fortunately, the driver and passengers were able to leave the bus unharmed. Some areas had their electricity cut off. The lights on our terrace suddenly switched off last night: this morning, when we tried to turn them on, one caught fire. 

The island of Evia, already ravaged by fires two months ago (see here and here ) has been hit hard by the storms and is now facing floods and mudslides: more than two hundred houses were damaged as the heavy rain and widespread flooding made roads impassable, sending mudslides cascading down mountains now devoid of vegetation into the sea.

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