Publication Date November 16, 2017

Greece Flash Floods Kill 15 near Athens; Crews Continue to Search for 6 Reported Missing

A man clears mud from his home in front of flipped over cars in the municipality of Mandra western Athens, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Photo: Petros Giannakouris, AP

Greek officials said six people remain missing a day after flooding swamped an area of western Athens, killing 15 people.

Initially, six people were unaccounted for, but one was found alive. Then, another man – a hunter – was reported missing Thursday morning, bringing the total back to six.

The search and rescue operations were in the Mandra area on the western outskirts of Athens, where roads were filled with mud and debris a day earlier because of the flash floods. Cars were washed away and thrust into buildings by the fast-moving water, and sections of a highway were submerged.

The flood, which followed an overnight storm, caused widespread destruction in Mandra and nearby areas, where authorities said about 500 homes and businesses had been damaged.

Greece's health ministry said 15 fatalities — five women and 10 men — had been transported to a local hospital during Wednesday's flooding. The bodies of 12 of those who died were recovered by the fire department, which has led the rescue and assistance operations, while the coast guard recovered the bodies of two men swept out to sea.