A woman stuck in her car is rescued from floodwaters by a
resident during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of
Athens. REUTERS/John Kolesidis
A woman died and dozens of commuters were trapped in
their cars as torrential rain swamped Athens, the heaviest
downpour the normally sunny Greek capital has seen in decades.
Power outages darkened large parts of the city during the
overnight cloudburst, a river broke its banks and traffic
jams brought much of Athens to a standstill in the morning
The capital's main roads and highways were overflowing with
water and public transport was severely disrupted as two
subway stops were briefly shut.
"This is the worst storm since 1961. We're talking about 52
years without ever having seen such a heavy downpour in this
area," meteorologist Yannis Kallianos told state television.
Police said a 27-year-old woman died of a probable heart
attack after being trapped in her car in the northern suburb
A Reuters reporter saw another woman being rescued from her
jeep as a gush of water more than a metre (yard) high swept
her car away. At least five other cars in the same block were
overturned and three were piled on top of each other.
Officials said more than 130 litres of rainfall per square
metre swamped the neighbouring suburb of Papagou in just
under three hours.
By mid-morning, rescue teams received at least 900 calls from
residents whose houses were flooded and more than 90 calls
from commuters marooned in their cars.
In parliament, a worker was left dangling through the glass
ceiling over the assembly as she tried to contain water
dripping into the room below where lawmakers were about to