Flash floods kill 15 in Greece

Flash floods caused by heavy overnight rain have killed at least 15 people and caused destruction in central Greece.

The industrial towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, west of the capital Athens, were the most affected.

Many of the dead were elderly people whose bodies were found inside their homes.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared a period of national mourning in the wake of the tragedy.

At least 37 people have been taken to hospital, and some are still missing.

Bad weather has hit parts of Greece for about a week, but particularly heavy rain overnight caused the sudden flooding, for which locals said they were unprepared.

The force of the water moved vehicles, damaged walls and roofing, and left many homeless as their homes flooded to a life-threatening level.

By Wednesday afternoon, Greece’s fire service said it had received over 600 calls for help and dispatched almost 200 firefighters in 55 vehicles to the towns, which have a combined population in the tens of thousands.

“The water came down the mountain, millions of tonnes,” Stavros Fotiou, the Deputy Mayor of Nea Peramos said.

“Our roads are completely destroyed… 1,000 homes have been flooded, that’s a third of the town,” he added.

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