Greek holiday island: Two dead in severe storms on Crete

Heavy autumn storms on Crete killed at least two people over the weekend and caused enormous damage.

Greek holiday island: Two dead in severe storms on Crete

Heavy autumn storms on Crete killed at least two people over the weekend and caused enormous damage. "It was the worst storm in the last 100 years," Crete's regional governor, Stavros Arnaoutakis, told the Protothema news portal on Sunday. The daily "Kathimerini" wrote of a "biblical catastrophe".

Already on Saturday, a 50-year-old man was swept away in the car by the water masses and drowned. An initially missing 49-year-old could only be recovered dead on Sunday – the water had washed her into the sea. The police and fire brigade received countless calls from affected citizens, and the power also went out locally.

Video footage showed masses of water and mud pouring through narrow streets with tremendous force, taking dozens of cars, rubbish and even large boulders with them. The flash floods caused by heavy rains acted like a reverse tsunami - they just swept everything away, geology professor Efthymios Lekkas explained on state radio. The storm raged especially in the region around the Cretan island capital Heraklion.

The city's airport remained closed for hours on Saturday. Dozens of holiday planes had to be diverted to the western Cretan city of Chania and also to Athens airport because the runway in Heraklion was under water. The situation calmed down on Sunday. According to meteorologists, the storm moved in a significantly weakened direction towards the southern coast of Turkey.

See the photo gallery: Days of rain swelled the Iguazú Falls in South America this week. The bad weather didn't stop tourists from visiting the Unesco World Heritage Site.

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