Athens.- Acharnes mayor Yiannis Kassavos declared his municipality under emergency, at a meeting he held Saturday morning to assess the damage from Friday’s torrential rain, which wrought havoc in western Athenian suburbs and the city of Piraeus, Greece’s main port.
Stores at commercial centre of Acharnes, north of Athens, have sustained heavy flood damage, with major losses in inventory. The tarmac has been receded on the roads or sunk throughout the city, dozens of homes have been flooded and many families have had to abandon their homes. According to the mayor, the street drains had been cleaned a week ago but the town needs major state-funded antiflooding projects that regional and Interior ministry authorities have been petitioned for over serveral years.
In Peristeri, the town is back in full operation, with damages at some basements, stores and small manufacturing businesses. The municipality was visited by Interior Minister Argyris Dinopoulos. Mayor Andreas Pachatouridis told ANA-MPA that “what happened yesterday midday was not a torrential rain but the waters of a sea that fell onto the city. Despite that, the city’s drainage system worked well.”
Already he said, over 60 municipal trucks are operating the area for cleanup and to restore damages, and 80 pct of the city has been cleaned up as of Saturday afternoon.
Agios Ioannis Renti-Nikaia, west of Athens, did not have major problems, its mayor Giorgos Ioakimidis told ANA-MPA, except for some flooded stores and homes. Some damage occurred in projects operated by the Public Power Corporation and the Region authority, while most issues had been resolved he said.
Regional counselor for Civil Protection Ioanna Tsoupra told ANA-MPA that crews are working continuously in the municipalities of Kamatero, Haidari, Acharnes, Egaleo, Peristeri, Fyli and Ilion, while Attica district director Rena Dourou thanked the Fire Brigade, Traffic Police and municipal authorities for their services.
Panagiotis Lafazanis, parliamentary group representative for main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), called for an immediate end to “political negligence and irresponsibility” and for an immediate plan to set up large and effective works to fight flooding before there is human toll, after a visit to the area of Palea Kokkinia, a district of Piraeus that sustained the greatest damage in the area from Friday’s flood.
Samaras, who returned from a eurogroup leaders summit in Brussels, held a meeting in the Halandri emergency operations centre that ended slightly past midnight, saying that everyone who had been affected – especially in the areas of Peristeri, Ilion, Perama, Menidi, Egaleo, Agii Anargyri, Nikea, Piraeus and Kamatero – would be compensated “as soon as possible.”
He also called for reports from related services on specific measures they expected to take for future issues, “as we see the same problem created over and over again, as in the Peristeri-Ilio border, the Roupaki or Thivon highway are, the borders of Kokkinia, or Dimokratias highway in Menidi.”