Lingering Struggles in Thessaly After September Floods

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The aftermath of the severe storm named “Daniel” in September continues to cast a shadow over the Greek region of Thessaly, with communities in Vlohos and Metamorfosi grappling with the devastating consequences. Seventeen lives were lost during the extreme flooding, leaving lasting scars on the affected villages.

Resilient Efforts Amid Abandoned Homes

Even after four months, the villages of Vlohos and Metamorfosi bear visible scars from the disaster, and many residents, faced with significant property damage, have opted to abandon their homes. Despite this, Yannis Koukas, a resident of Vlohos and former local community president, remains resilient, working daily to clean and organize the remnants of his dwelling. He hopes to return with his family in the coming months, seizing the opportunity presented by favorable weather conditions.

Schools and Economic Struggles

While some residents aim to reclaim their homes, the primary school in Vlohos faces a different fate, as authorities have deemed the building irreparably damaged, disrupting the students’ education. Beyond the impact on homes and schools, the floods wreaked havoc on the local economy, particularly affecting farmers and breeders. Thousands of acres were submerged, and hundreds of animals perished, leaving Vassilis and Dimitra, livestock breeders in the region, still struggling four months post-disaster.

Ongoing Hardships for Farmers

Vassilis and Dimitra, livestock breeders in the region, continue to face challenges with their fields yielding no produce due to the water’s destruction. Despite the hardships, Dimitra Xanthi expressed determination, stating, “We won’t surrender; we will fight for our lives and our children’s future.” The resilience of farmers underscores the ongoing struggles in rebuilding the local economy.

Mixed Feelings on Government Aid, Gratitude for Volunteer Support

While flood victims express discontent with the government’s perceived lack of sufficient aid, they express gratitude for the support from thousands of people, both local and international. Volunteer groups, such as one led by Evangelia Routa, President of the Cultural Association of the village of Metamorfosi, actively collect and distribute food, clothes, and toys, providing essential assistance to those in need. The ongoing efforts of volunteers highlight the communal spirit that continues to play a crucial role in the recovery process.

SOURCE: Ref Image from VOA News

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