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One dead after car swept away in Cretan flood

A 50-year-old man died and an unspecified number of people were missing as thunderstorms lashed several parts of Crete on Friday and Saturday, turning roads into rivers and closing Iraklio’s international airport, state-run news agency AMNA reported.

The incident occurred in the coastal town of Agia Pelagia, in Malevizio municipality, about 25 kilometers west of Iraklio, which the rapid change in the weather has caused severe flooding in the last few hours.

Local media report that more people may be missing in Agia Pelagia and in the neighboring town of Lygaria, where firefighters rescued a woman from a vehicle that ended up in the sea.

The Fire Service said nine cars have been swept away. The Coast Guard has been called on to participate in the search for missing people.

Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in Iraklio remained closed after several areas flooded. Airport master Giorgos Pliakas told that unless the water is removed, “no one is in a position to know when flights will resume.”

In Sitia, in eastern Crete, eight tourists and one guard were trapped at the local archaeological museum, while another four people were stuck in two cars, local news websites reported.

The search and rescue effort is being hampered by the winds of force 7 to 8 blowing in the area.