Flash floods in Crete leave at least one dead and cause airport ‘chaos’ | World News

A man has drowned and a woman is missing after their car was swept away by flash flooding in Crete.

The 50-year-old man was found in the coastal town of Agia Pelagia, which is feared to have been worst hit by powerful storms that caused devastating damage on Saturday.

Divers from the coastguard department’s special disaster unit and fire department have been deployed to search for the missing woman, who is believed to have been trapped inside the car.

Several cars were photographed floating in the sea off Agia Pelagia, located about 16 miles (25 km) northwest of Crete’s capital Heraklion (Iraqlio), after rivers overflowed their banks on Greece’s largest island.

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Rescuers search for submerged cars in the town of Agia Pelagia Photo: AP
Rescue workers in the village of Agia Pelagia Pic: AP
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Rescue workers in the village of Agia Pelagia Pic: AP

Submerged runways close airport

Several city roads are flooded and Heraklion international airport has been closed due to its runways being under water.

“No one can say when flights will resume,” airport manager Giorgos Pliakas told a local news site.

Images on social media show large crowds of people waiting for updates on delayed and canceled trips, as passengers described the situation as “chaos” and “absolute disorder”.

Meanwhile, fire crews have been inundated with calls to get people to safety or pump water out of flood-affected properties.

Four people were found trapped in two vehicles in the eastern city of Sithia.

Eight tourists and a guard were unable to leave an archaeological museum, according to police.

Another woman trapped in her car was also rescued, as fears grow for the safety of those whose whereabouts are unknown.

The Agia Pelagia waterfront after flash floods Photo: AP
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The Agia Pelagia waterfront after flash floods Photo: AP
The popular tourist destination has been destroyed by severe weather
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The popular tourist destination has been destroyed by severe weather

Some 165 miles (265 km) from Sithia, floodwaters invaded homes in the western city of Chania.

People in Lasithi, on the eastern side of the island, received a text telling them to stay home.

Fire crews were seen almost up to their necks in water during the search operation, with submerged vehicles seen alongside floating debris, including a refrigerator.

The Cretan police have warned motorists of widespread problems on the roads due to bad weather.

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