Greece closes public services, restricts traffic as storm set to worsen

A man makes his way across a road under heavy rain in Athens, on Oct 14, 2021.
A man makes his way across a road under heavy rain in Athens, on Oct 14, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ATHENS (REUTERS) - Greece will shut public services and restrict traffic on two main roads in the capital Athens on Friday (Oct 15) as a severe storm is forecast to worsen, civil protection authorities said.

Torrential rains flooded main roads and rivers in Athens, the island of Corfu and other parts across the country on Thursday.

The fire brigade said it had received hundreds of calls for assistance to rescue trapped people, cut down trees, and pump out water from homes and businesses.

More rainfall was forecast to hit Athens, the northern Greek region of Halkidiki and the island of Evia, still recovering from summer wildfires, on Friday.

Two main avenues in central Athens and in the capital's southern coastal zone will be restricted to traffic for seven hours from 1am local time, Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said in a televised message.

School and public services in Athens will also remain shut for the day and private sector employees were advised to work from home.

Flash floods in 2017 killed 25 people and left hundreds homeless.