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Legacy of Storm Daniel Leaves Greece’s Thessaly Region Devastated

The damage caused by “Storm Daniel” to houses, businesses, animal and plant production and the road network in Greece’s Thessaly region is enormous in scale.

On Thursday, another human death was added to the list of fatalities. A 32-year-old Austrian woman who was missing with her husband was added to the list of 15 confirmed victims of the floods; her body had washed up on Theotoko beach and was identified on Thursday by the authorities.

In 10 municipalities of the region of Thessaly, the water is not suitable for drinking as a result of contamination of the supply by dead animals and chemicals that may have passed through it.

Deputy Minister of Health Irini Agapidaki said that on Wednesday 13,1,396 citizens with various health problems, including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections, were admitted to health facilities,

According to the Greek agricultural insurance organization, ELGA, 49,050 sheep and goats, 19,295 pigs, 4,186 cattle, 40,330 farm birds, and 43,980 honeybees have been reported killed.

The rate of collection and management of dead animals remains at 50 per cent of those declared, as there is difficulty in approaching many livestock units, the Minister of Rural Development and Food, Lefteris Avgenakis, said. By Wednesday afternoon they had collected and disposed of 24,856 dead goats and sheep, 7,500 pigs, 35 cattle and 23,900 birds.

Major problems affect the road network. The country has been cut in two, as the Athens-Thessaloniki highway near Larissa remains closed after the floods.

Damage was also recorded at the University of Thessaly, which has departments in five towns and cities: Volos, Larissa, Karditsa, Trikala and Lamia; some buildings have been flooded by muddy water, mixed with sewage, Vanessa Katsardi, Assistant Professor of the University, in the Department of Civil Engineering, told BIRN.

“It needs attention; it is dangerous to be in contact with the muddy water; the buildings must be cleaned and disinfected before classes start,” Katsardi said. The examination period and the start of the academic year will be delayed as a result.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in his meeting with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced EU financial support for Greece from unspent and front-loaded cohesion money, ESF+, EU Agriculture & Rural Development policy funds.

“In addition, Greece can submit a request under the Solidarity Fund and be considered for loans under the Next Generation EU recovery plan,” Von der Leyen said.

But opposition media say of the 2.250 billion euros in offered EU support, only 1 billion euros of fresh money will likely reach Greece by 2027. They claim the rest is recycled EU resources that remain unused, which would anyway be distributed among the 27 member states.

Source : Balkan Insight