ATHENS – A state of emergency was declared on the Greek island of Symi on Tuesday after torrential rains and heavy flooding wreaked havoc on the Mediterranean isle, leaving much of its residents without power, officials said.
Located in the eastern Aegean, near the Turkish coast, Symi was drenched by heavy downpours on Monday that culminated in devastating flash flooding.
“The heavy rainfall that hit the island yesterday has created major problems in its core infrastructures, such as power and water supply. Vehicles drifted into the sea and property has suffered great damage,” the country’s shipping ministry said in a statement released Tuesday.
The island’s roughly 2,500 permanent residents have been left without electricity for more than 12 hours after the main power plant succumbed to the adverse weather.
Mayor of Symi, Eleftherios Papakalodukas, told media that many of the streets in principal port-town – which bears the same name as the island – remained blocked off by tons of mud deposited by the floodwaters.
Numerous school buildings and houses were severely damaged in the storm and remained inundated by detritus.
Regional member of parliament, Nektarios Santornios, who arrived at the island to evaluate the damage, warned that there could be further complications securing access to drinking water, adding that the island’s drainage systems had also been clogged by mud deposits.
Locals reported several cases of cars being swept into the sea.
Symi, which is located in the Dodecanese archipelago, 425-kilometers (264-miles) from Athens, has an area of around 65,754 sq kilometers (25,388 sq miles).
Its population is concentrated on the coast, given the rugged nature of its mountainous interior.