Damage Caused by Flooding in Greece

By Josie Mewes

September 23, 2023

Storm Daniel swept Greece and neighboring countries, leaving mass destruction in its wake. The flooding in Greece happened in early to mid September, after receiving a “jaw-dropping  528 mm (21 inches) of rain in just 10 hours” tweets researcher Nahel Belgherze from Zagora, Greece. After a summer of unusually warm weather and wildfires, Greece is yet again being hit by extreme weather as the country faces one of the worst storms they’ve seen in over a century. Thousands have been evacuated and the death count from the massive flooding is currently sixteen. 

When flooding first hit, some parts of Greece were submerged in as much as 6 feet of water. According to The New York Times, when the floods hit emergency service vehicles were unable to reach the deeper flooded parts of the country and the coast guard had to send in divers to help evacuation efforts. Military forces have also played a huge role in evacuation, rescue, and repair in flooded regions. 

The storm has caused years worth of damage to agricultural land in Greece and has destroyed thousands of homes, farms, businesses, and livestock. According to AP, farmers are facing millions of dollars worth of damage to crops and land due to the floods, which covered 280 square miles of farmland. 

Credit: Stergios Spiropoulos

Although the flooding has finally subsided, it has left thousands without homes, electricity, and drinking water. Greek health officials have urged people not to use the flood water for everyday tasks due to the threat of contamination caused by static water and dead livestock, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as the shortage of bottled water in the area continues. After contamination became a greater concern, Deputy Health Minister Eirini Agapidaki stated, “Bottled water must be used for all kinds of tasks: For our personal hygiene, drinking water, to cook. . .” 

As people in Greece struggle with damages and loss, scientists are faced with the fact that the deadly storm that wreaked havoc on the Mediterranean was made worse by climate change. According to The World Weather Attribution, flooding in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria was 10 times more likely to happen due to climate change and cataclysmic flooding in Libya was up to 50 times more likely. Scientists warn that this storm was not a one time thing, as these disastrous weather events will likely become increasingly more common as climate change alters earth’s weather patterns. This puts renewed pressure on governments to prepare for the next catastrophic weather event.