Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Race against time amid destruction

In the wake of the devastation caused by the Daniel storm front, the immediate concern of residents and authorities is the restoration of a semblance of normal daily life in the wider Karditsa area.

On a second level, larger issues need to be urgently addressed to ensure that the area is not immediately threatened by a similar disaster, and remains functional and productive. Among these are the scores of dead animals whose rapid collection is a critical health issue, as the increased humidity also attracts large mosquito populations, exacerbating the health threat. Several thousand animals have reportedly died and estimates suggest a significantly higher final number once the waters recede. At the same time, there is great concern about the pollution of the water table by oil stored in tanks for agricultural needs and carried away in the floods. The same holds true for pesticides and fertilizers in storage.

Another key aim is the rapid repair of damage to the road network and key flood protection works, as even a small amount of rainfall, given the saturation of the ground from the flooding, can cause disproportionate damage. With winter approaching, there is not much time to repair the road network, especially in mountainous areas. Landslides have been caused in several places and bridges have been destroyed, making access to mountain communities extremely difficult. If the work is not completed soon, it will not be possible to continue once the rains, and snow, start.

Also pressing is the need to restore damage to homes, schools, health facilities, and infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted power and water supply.

Meanwhile, there is also a strong sense of abandonment among locals.

Given that agriculture is the basis of the region’s economy, there is an urgent need for technical assistance to restore the ability to cultivate the land as soon as possible. Locals say they have no wages to look forward to as their income is totally dependent on agricultural production and the impact of the flooding on soil quality can be very damaging. Estimates suggest that in the Palamas municipality alone, over 15,000 hectares were affected.

Tackling these issues and ensuring the rapid compensation of the affected people to kick-start the economy is considered key to avoid a new wave of population flight with and only the elderly remaining behind.