A severe flooding has hit Greece just days after a two-week deadly wildfire tore through the north of the country, killing at least 18 people. Chris Liakos writes for CNN: "More than 800 people have been rescued over the past two days from severe floods in Greece, local officials said, after extreme rainfall turned streets into deadly rivers, tore down buildings and bridges and left whole villages submerged. The rainstorms also hit neighboring Bulgaria and Turkey, killing at least 16 people across the three countries, including six in Greece."
"The Greek region of Thessaly, the country’s agricultural hub, has been hit hardest by what government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis called 'the biggest flood phenomenon that our country has ever experienced.' The port city of Volos, the surrounding mountainous Pelion area and the cities of Karditsa and Trikala were among the worst affected areas."
"According to the article published by CNN Rescue operations are now underway to try to reach those left stranded by the floodwaters, which have exceeded two meters in some parts of the country. Videos posted by Greek news outlets and on social media have shown residents in villages near the city of Karditsa forced to swim to safety after their homes were inundated. Other villagers were seen climbing onto their roofs – the only part of their homes not submerged by water – to call for assistance."
"Kikilias said that 885 people have been rescued over the past two days, saying that the pace of the evacuation efforts was hampered by the ferocity of the downpour. Government spokesman Marinakis told reporters that the fire service had received more than 5,000 calls for assistance. The Greek army is assisting with rescue efforts."
"Chris Liakos added Police have banned civilians from driving in several parts of Thessaly, after floodwaters were seen sweeping cars from the roads. Marinakis said the Attica region, where the country’s capital Athens is located, experienced nearly three times the average annual rainfall in the space of 12 hours."