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Three dead, roads blocked as floods hit Greek island

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Three people including a baby died as torrential rains and floods swept across the Greek island of Evia, damaging dozens of houses and blocking roads, officials said Sunday.

The eight-month-old baby was found dead in a house in the village of Politika on Sunday, a fire service spokesman said. The baby’s parents were unharmed.

Hours earlier, a man and woman, both in their 80s, were found unconscious by firefighters in two separate houses in the same village, the spokesman said. They were confirmed as dead at the hospital.

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Torrents of water blocked roads in the west of Evia, which lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Athens. Some tourists were unable to leave one campsite on the island, the ANA news agency said.

Evia is Greece’s second largest island after Crete.

“We are experiencing a nightmare, we are using every possible means” to combat the floods, said Ana Fanis Spanos, a lawmaker from the central Greece region.

Storm Thalia battered several regions of mainland Greece Saturday, though the weather was improving on Sunday.

Politika and several surrounding villages were badly hit, and blocked roads prevented fire trucks from reaching the affected sites.

Two rivers burst their banks and filled roads with mud, local authorities said. The ground floors of many houses were flooded.

About 100 firefighters and two helicopters as well as the coastguard were deployed to rescue those trapped.

“Last year we had fires, this year it’s floods,” one resident of the village of Psahna told ERT television.

Flooded homes are a frequent occurrence in Greece due to a lack of adequate controls on the construction and land planning sectors.

In November 2017, floods killed 24 people in Mandra, a village in an industrial region 30 kilometres west of Athens. Torrents of mud poured down over thousands of buildings, homes, shops and factories.

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