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Evia in most ‘unfavorable position’ with storm Elias, says expert

Heavy rainfall from the Elias weather system has struck parts of northern Evia, Greece’s second largest island located east of Athens, where over 50,000 hectares of forest were devastated by massive wildfires in 2021.

“The intensity of the rain in Evia is similar to that of [storm] Daniel in Thessaly. Very high levels of rain have already been recorded in Evia and Fokida and these areas will concern us a lot until tomorrow morning,” said Stavros Dafis, meteorologist and research associate at National Observatory of Athens.

“Evia seems to be the negative protagonist of this bad weather and is in the most unfavorable position of all the regions.”

In the village of Rovies, on the northwest coast of the island, more than 40 homes have been flooded as a result of the river flowing through the settlement bursting its banks. Rescue teams are actively working to evacuate individuals who are stranded in these inundated areas, with some reportedly trapped in their residences.

Limni Mayor Giorgos Tsapourniotis characterized the situation as “dangerous” and urged residents to limit travel. He stated that the western part of the municipality, stretching from Rovies to Limni, is now strewn with debris, “as the entire mountain has cascaded into the settlements.”

Similar critical conditions are being observed in the tourist resort of Pefki. Rivers have surged, coursing through the settlement, leading to the entrapment of numerous people. Emergency crews are engaged in efforts to evacuate and relocate individuals to safe locations. Numerous houses have been inundated, and trees have toppled due to the powerful winds.

Meanwhile, Storm Elias has also impacted Halkida, Evia’s capital. Since 4 a.m., there has been a significant volume of water pouring into the city. The fire department has been actively involved in pumping water from flooded basements. Shortly after 5 a.m., a power outage occurred in a large area north of Halkida.