The island of Corfu was declared in “state of emergency” late on Thursday after torrential rains flooded homes and businesses, destroyed infrastructure, agriculture and live stock thus endangering human lives. 69 people in total had to be evacuated with boats or helicopters as they were trapped in the floods.
Many villages in central and south Corfu are without electricity on Friday morning, in some areas the water supply has been cut, too..
Roads were turned into rivers, stone bridges collapsed, streams and rivers swell, and many vehicles were swept away from the rushing waters when stormy weather front Ballos struck the island.
In flooded Moraitika village, locals climbed to the roof tops to save their lives. Rescue came from the air with a Super Puma of the Air Force.
The bad weather hindered dozens of school children to return home in the south of the island. Some 50 of them had to be accommodated in hotels and are expected to be transported home today, once the main road is open to traffic again.
A group of 10 elementary school pupils were trapped in a supermarket for several hours.
Trapped in a hotel were also some 15-20 tourists that had scheduled to return home on Thursday.
With rubber boats many elderly people but also animals were brought to safety.
In Perama and Mesolonghi as well as around the city of Corfu, many shopkeepers saw their stores flooded with water and mud within short time.
Countless animals have lost their lives, as they were swept away by the rushing waters and the high water level at the plain of river “Potamos.
Within a few hours on Thursday, the Fire Service received 495 call to pump water out of houses and businesses.
Firefighters were deployed from the region of Epirus on the mainland to assist their colleagues on the island.
Friday morning and the situation on Corfu is still grim, with many villages cut from the outside world due to landslides and power outages.
“The biggest problem is located in Mesi and in some villages of South Corfu. The bridge of Afra has collapsed resulting into the isolation of many villages in central Corfu have been excluded. The provincial road to the Corfu Hospital is not accessible “, Deputy Regional Minister of Civil Protection of the Ionian Islands, Nikos Miliotis told state-tun news agency amna.
Due to landslide in the area of Perama and Mesolonghi there are problems in the road network, practically “cutting” the island into two for many hours.
“From the early morning hours we managed to open the road but it needs attention due to landslides”, Miliotis pointed out.
Currently, the problems in the road network are intense in the areas of Afra, Kyra Chrysikou, Gastouri, Gyros Achilleios National Road and Corfu Lefkimmis National Road at the height of Perama and Messonghi.
Schools are closed throughout the Ionian islands on Friday.
There are no injuries or fatalities reported.