Athens flash floods: 16 dead as rain wreaks havoc on Greek capital

Mandra, a town northwest of Athens, has been one of the areas most affected by the flooding in Greece.

Story highlights

  • Local media have described the flooding as "biblical"
  • Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged

Athens, Greece (CNN)The death toll from flash floods that have devastated areas around the Greek capital of Athens has hit 16, according to the Ministry of Interior.

More than 20 people have been injured and one is missing in a disaster that local media have described as "biblical."
    Residents in Mandra, one of the most affected areas, northwest of Athens, have been "trapped in their homes, the water is 1 meter (about 3 feet) high inside some houses, and (they) have no electricity and water," said Mayor Yianna Krikouki.
    Speaking on Greek radio, Krikouki said there was "nothing standing in the entire area of Mandra" and the town is "now mourning its lost fellow citizens."
    A man helps evacuate a woman from a flooded street in Mandra on Thursday.
    A state of emergency has been declared in the West Attica region, where Mandra is located. Parts of the national highway system have been destroyed, and many roads remain shut down. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged.
    Entire areas are without water or power. One firefighter told local media that "a large part of the electricity network is severely damaged. We are doing what we can."
    Youths make their way on a flooded street Wednesday in Mandra.
    More than 20 schools will remain closed Thursday. One elderly resident, who has lived in the area since the 1960s, told local media that she's never seen anything like the devastation she witnessed.
    "I don't know what to do," she said to TV channel Skai. "People have drowned in this very street."
    More heavy rain has been forecast, firefighter Kimon Moustakas told public broadcaster ERT. "We are here and ready to do everything we can."

    National mourning

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of national mourning.
    "It is a very difficult time for all of Greece," he said, according to ERT.
    "I want to express my deep sorrow, sincere condolences to the families of the victims. And (I