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People stand on the destroyed Keritis bridge following flash floods near the village of Alikianos, on the island of Crete People stand on the destroyed Keritis bridge following flash floods near the village of Alikianos, on the island of Crete 

Crete reels under record flooding

The Greek island of Crete has been suffering some severe weather, causing deaths and the collapse of huge infrastructures.

By John Carr

The island of Crete is today trying to recover from several days of severe flooding, which has washed away at least half a dozen road bridges in the west of the island, as well as scores of acres of farmland.

One shepherd was found drowned in his pickup truck that had been swept away.  Last week four other people met the same fate when the car they were in lost its way in heavy rain and fell into a raging torrent near the city of Chania.

Greek television footage showed one robust stone bridge, more than a hundred years old, crumbling under a massive muddy cataract.  Many villages in western Crete remain cut off by the collapsed bridges as well as landslides that have blocked access roads.  The Army has been called in to build emergency Bailey bridges in the worst-affected areas.

The heavy downpours in Crete were part of an icy weather system descending on  Greece, which saw record snowfalls in many inland areas and even some Aegean islands.  And the weather people here in Athens warn that this coming weekend could see more of the same.

27 February 2019, 15:45