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Flooding in Greece leaves at least 5 dead

January 13, 1997

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Torrential rains killed at least five people in central and southern Greece, knocking out power lines and causing rivers and streams to overflow their banks.

Sunday’s downpours was accompanied by gale-force winds that pounded the region for more than 10 hours. Th meteorological service the storm was the worst in 40 years.

Hardest hit was Corinth, 52 miles west of Athens, where the body of a 77-year-old woman was found washed up on the shores of the coastal city.

``She was swept into the sea like dozens of cars and motorcycles,″ said a senior police official, speaking on customary anonymity.

The bodies of two other flood victims washed up on the banks of a stream on the city’s outskirts.

One was a 70-year-old man who drowned when the bus he was traveling in careened off a narrow bridge into the stream. Police were still searching for a 54-year-old woman who also disappeared in the rain-swollen water. Thirteen other passengers survived.

In Crete, a 68-year-old farmer drowned Sunday while trying to cross a flooded creek on a donkey.

In the seaside city of Aiyion, 111 miles west of Athens, a 60-year-old man died of a heart attack while chasing his flood-swept car.

Corinthians began a huge cleanup effort today as a government delegation arrived to assess the damage. Telecommunications, which had been disrupted by the storm, were restored, but some power outages continued.

In Athens, the storm knocked out traffic lights and flooded main thoroughfares, stranding scores of cars. Many streets were strewn with floating garbage as a garbage collectors’ strike entered its seventh day.

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