The storm that ravaged western Attica has claimed the lives of at least fifteen people, with one person missing and several hospitalized, one in critical condition.
The storm was most heavy on Mount Pateras where the huge amounts of water swept dirt and debris towards the underlying flatlands in the vicinity of Megara. Because of poor planning and haphazard construction the natural pathways that the water would have followed had for decades ceased to exist. This resulted in a flood that used the streets of Nea Peramos and Mandra as outlets, inundating homes and destroying vehicles and property in its path.
The new Athens - Corinth highway did not take into account the hydrographic data of the area, nor did it foresee the consequences of the fact that it was actually cutting the basin of Megara in two, effectively severing the mountain from the lowland, explained land scientist and surbeyor Dimitris Theodosopoulos, a member of the board of "Roi - Citizens for Streams"
"When the road was built, they left very few openings for the water to pass. This resulted in water forcing itself therough narrow openings resulting in speeding torrents that swept through the town," said Mandra deputy mayor Pericles Rokas. The town lost four senior citizens, while as Mr Rokas explained that the whole town was devastated, adding that the torrent was so rapid that at one point, using the highway as its bed, it swept trucks and semis , drowning some drivers.
Despite, warnings from the weather bureau for the impending severe weather, there was "nothing that could be done to forestall what happened," claims Grigoris Stamoulis, the mayor of Megara, in the juridiction of whih lies Nea Peramos.
Yet as Mr Theododopoulos noted the negligence and scraqmble for profit that characterized Greek urban development for decades meant that natural streams and water outlets were encroched upon and built over, resulting in a total lack of suitable vennues for water to flow from the mountains to the sea. He went on to sound the alarm for other areasof Attica, such as the port of Rafina, and the streams of Podoniftis in Kifissia and Pikrosdafni in Faliro.
As the mayor of Megara
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