February 23, 2013

One dead as Athens is battered by biggest storm in 50 years (VIDEO)

A motorist struggles to cling onto her vehicle as it was pounded by flood water in Chalandri today
A terrified motorist was left clinging onto her car as it was swept away by flood waters surging through the streets of Athens today.

The dramatic scenes unfolded as torrential rain led to flash flooding in the Greek capital, where one woman has died and thousands more people left stranded.


The heavy rain is the worst seen in the recession-hit country for 50 years
Two men climbed onto the roof of the silver 4x4 and pulled the driver to safety in northern suburb of Chalandri.

The woman had been clinging onto the side of the vehicle as it was carried away by flood muddy flood water more than a metre high.

At least five other cars in the same block were overturned and three were piled on top of each other
At least five other cars in the same block were overturned and three were piled on top of each other.

Police said a 27-year-old woman died of a probable heart attack after being trapped in her car in Halandri, another suburb north of the capital.


The heavy rain is the worst seen in the recession-hit country for 50 years. It caused a river to burst its banks, bringing chaos to much of Athens during the morning rush hour.

Two men came to the aid of the trapped driver as surging, muddy water swept cars away
There have also been power cuts across the city and public transport has been severely disrupted, with at least two subway stops being closed.

Torrential rain caused a river to burst its banks, bringing chaos to the morning rush hour
Meteorologist Yannis Kallianos told state television: 'This is the worst storm since 1961. We're talking about 52 years without ever having seen such a heavy downpour in this area,'

More than a metre of water gushed along the road in the city's northern suburb
'We're talking about 52 years without ever having seen such a heavy downpour in this area'
Officials said Papgou was among the worst affected areas, having been swamped by more than 130 litres of rainfall per square metre in just under three hours. 

By mid-morning, rescue teams received at more than 90 calls from commuters marooned in their cars
There have been power cuts across the city and public transport has been bad affected
By mid-morning, rescue teams received at least 900 calls from residents whose houses were flooded and more than 90 calls from commuters marooned in their cars.


In parliament, a worker was left dangling through the glass ceiling over the assembly as she tried to contain water dripping into the room below where lawmakers were about to start debate.


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