Hundreds of homes were flooded in Athens as storms swept across Greece

Heavy storms swept across Greece on Thursday, flooding hundreds of homes in Athens and causing evacuations on the island of Evia, which was ravaged by summer fires.

Rescuers were also preparing to use helicopters to lift stranded people off rooftops in flooded and remote areas of the northwestern island of Corfu, said Minister of Civil Protection and Climate Change Christos Stylianides.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a dangerous weather phenomenon that is very serious in some parts of the country,” said Stylianides, a former European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

At Evia, at least three areas was affected by the forest fires in August evacuated.

Several dozen people were evacuated from their homes on the North Island and arranged to stay with friends or in hotel rooms booked by the regional authority.

Look | Heavy rain floods the streets of Athens:

Heavy rain floods the streets of Athens

Athens residents were forced to wade through streets flooded by a storm that stormed parts of Greece on Thursday. 0:55

The forest fires in northern Evia, about 130 kilometers north of Athens, made the area more vulnerable to floods.

Thursday’s storms hit the Greek capital and other parts of southern Greece, causing traffic disruptions and road closures.

The fire brigade received more than 300 calls in the capital to pump out water from flooded homes, the authorities say.

Dozens of vehicles ran aground on flooded roads, forcing people inside to abandon their vehicles and wade through the water to safety.

The heavy rainfall also disrupted public transport, but flights at Athens International Airport were not affected.

A taxi was stranded on Thursday when other vehicles crossed a flooded avenue in Athens, after storms hit the Greek capital and other parts of southern Greece. (Thanassis Stavrakis / The Associated Press)

The government issued push warnings in Greek and English to mobile phones in affected areas and urged people to “avoid unnecessary movements and areas that have been or may be flooded.”

Schools in Athens, on Evia and in a region in northern Greece near the country’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, will close on Friday.

The weather is expected to get better on Saturday.

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