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Four more bodies found after Greece storm, raising death toll to 15

This handout satellite image shows flooded fields in east Palamas during floods in Greece, on September 9, 2023. (via Reuters)

Greek rescue teams recovered the bodies of four more people in central Greece on Sunday, raising the death toll from the country's most intense rain storm since records began in 1930 to 15.

Two other people are still missing, according to authorities.

Storm Daniel pummeled Greece for three days from Tuesday at the end of the hottest summer ever recorded, leaving a fresh trail of ruin after deadly wildfires.

Homes and bridges collapsed, schools, roads and power poles were destroyed, animals drowned and crops in the fertile Thessaly plain were wiped out.

The bodies of an 88-year-old woman and two men, aged 58 and 65, were found near the city of Karditsa, one of the worst-hit areas on Sunday. Later, rescue teams found the body of a 42-year old man in the area of Volos.

Flood-stricken residents were being airlifted or transferred in lifeboats across the region.

So far, more than 4,250 people have been evacuated, authorities said, as efforts were focused on villages near the city of Larissa and close to the River Pineios, parts of which have overflowed damaging villages further.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the main operation center in Thessaly on Sunday evening and announced that a mix of financial relief measures would be offered to those hit by the storm.

He said that the state's priority was "to cure the serious wounds this calamity has left."

Mitsotakis will meet EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Strasbourg on Tuesday. He said he wants to ensure Greece can get extra funds to tackle the impact of the storm, the extent of which he said "was beyond any prediction."

The conservative leader said his annual keynote speech on economic policy, which was postponed due to the storm, would be held on Sept. 16.

Greece's economy, which has emerged from a decade-long debt crisis, is stronger, the prime minister added, and with support from the European Union it can weather the impact of such a disaster.

The deluge in Greece followed a huge wildfire in the north.

Scientists say Greece's arid Mediterranean climate puts it on the front line of global climate change, with freak weather incidents increasingly common.

Extreme weather events have struck across the globe in recent weeks, with floods in Scandinavia, southeast Europe and Hong Kong. India had its driest August since records began more than a century ago.

(Source: Reuters)

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