Brits trapped in Greek island killer floods are forced to stay in high-up hotel rooms as 'streets are turned to rivers', while those who made it to airport are locked in and told there's no escape until Thursday

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:19 min(s) read

  • Hundreds of holidaymakers are trapped on upper floors of hotels with no water, power or means of escape
  • One man has died on mainland amid the flooding and five people are missing, according to police reports
  • Have YOU been caught in the Greek floods? Email: david.averre@mailonline.co.uk 

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on a Greek holiday island as terrifying flash floods and torrential rainstorms lash the country – with many ‘trapped’ inside their hotels as emergency services warn them to stay inside.

Victoria Jolley, 25, who is stranded with her family in a hotel near the old town on the island of Skiathos, told MailOnline of her terror at watching the storm surge blast through the town’s streets below her room. 

‘Cars, quads and debris are being swept away and streets have been turned into rivers… I’ve never seen anything like it before.

‘It is scary… we have the good fortune to be in a high room. Ground floor rooms have flooded. Fortunately our hotel walls had flood defences,’ she said.

‘We’re also without water to our apartment. It’s very upsetting seeing the damage that’s been caused.’

Another holidaymaker, Carlo Cencherle, told MailOnline: ‘Yesterday’s rain, thunder and lighting was relentless, power cuts, flooding, landslides, boats overturning… we couldn’t leave hotel and got pinged four times from the government as to warn us of the severe conditions.

‘To make things worse the hotel caught on fire from a cable being hit by the lightning so we rushed to reception,’ he said, adding that staff managed to extinguish the blaze before anyone was hurt. 

Other desperate Brits have taken to social media to beg for help after being left with power cuts, ‘no way to get food’ nor methods of communication after severe flooding struck the small island east of the Greek mainland. 

Tourists stuck with no electricity described the situation as ‘horrendously scary’ and say there have been no flights in or out of the airport, which is just over a mile from the flooded town centre of Skiathos. 

Jet2 said the horrendous conditions left them with no choice but to cancel all flights from Britain to Skiathos on Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving hundreds stranded inside the airport and unable to leave.

The conditions are no better on the mainland. One person has been confirmed dead in Greece amid the flooding so far, but at least five more people are missing, possibly swept away by floodwaters. 

The FCDO has now updated its travel guidance to Greece, warning Brits of the brutal conditions they may face. It now reads: ‘Adverse weather conditions, including floods, are affecting some regions. The situation can change quickly. Follow 112 Greece on Twitter for official updates.’

'Cars, quads and debris are being swept away and streets have been turned into rivers... I've never seen anything like it before!' one Brit holidaymaker said

‘Cars, quads and debris are being swept away and streets have been turned into rivers… I’ve never seen anything like it before!’ one Brit holidaymaker said

Quadbikes and cars are seen being swept away

Quadbikes and cars are seen being swept away

The ground floor of hotels were flooded while cars struggled to turn through the streets

The ground floor of hotels were flooded while cars struggled to turn through the streets

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Horrifying scenes reveal the damage in Volos following torrential floods and brutal storms

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The country’s minister of climate crisis and civil protection, Vassilis Kikilias, said the heavy rain was not expected to ease up until Wednesday afternoon

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Streets and ground floor properties were overrun with surge

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Floodwater is seen churning beneath a bridge in Volos

People look on next to damage due to the impact of storm Daniel, near a nursing home in the city of Volos, Greece, September 6, 2023

People look on next to damage due to the impact of storm Daniel, near a nursing home in the city of Volos, Greece, September 6, 2023

A dead sheep is seen among debris in an area flooded due to the impact of storm Daniel in the city of Volos, Greece, September 6, 2023

A dead sheep is seen among debris in an area flooded due to the impact of storm Daniel in the city of Volos, Greece, September 6, 2023

The floods created chaos at the airport where tourists have been stranded for hours and not allowed to leave

The floods created chaos at the airport where tourists have been stranded for hours and not allowed to leave

Many flights to and from the UK have been cancelled amid the flooding

Many flights to and from the UK have been cancelled amid the flooding

Streets in Skiathos have been completely submerged by floodwater, with business owners working to salvage tables and chairs at what are usually bustling restaurants

Streets in Skiathos have been completely submerged by floodwater, with business owners working to salvage tables and chairs at what are usually bustling restaurants

Residents desperately try to remove debris from a flooded area in the town of Volos, central Greece

Residents desperately try to remove debris from a flooded area in the town of Volos, central Greece

Footage shared by locals shows gushing water inundating the Skiathos town's streets

Footage shared by locals shows gushing water inundating the Skiathos town’s streets

Flood waters overrun a street and flood a hotel in Skiathos

Flood waters overrun a street and flood a hotel in Skiathos

One British holidaymaker told MailOnline he and his wife were due to fly back to the UK at 8pm last night but their flight was cancelled and they received little information from TUI as to when they can expect a new one. 

They are currently stranded at their hotel with no power and ‘food is running low’. Locals are also being accommodated for at the hotel after the floods destroyed their homes on the beach.

‘Food supplies are running out at the hotel. No more can be supplied because the road by our hotel has collapsed.

‘The rain has been heavy for around 36 hours. Our hotel is now homing local families who have lost theirs on the beach,’ he said last night. 

A TUI statement read: ‘We are closely monitoring the weather situation in Skiathos, and our main priority remains communicating with those customers in resort and ensuring their safety..

‘Due to the severity of the conditions, we made the difficult decision to cancel three flights which were due to depart on Tuesday 5th September.

‘We are working to get customers safely back home to the UK, and will contact them directly with flight details once they are confirmed. For those due to travel, we are actively monitoring the weather forecast and will be in direct contact with a travel update as soon as possible.

‘Customers that were due to travel to Skiathos on the 5th or 6th of September are able to amend their holiday for free with a 10 per cent rebooking incentive, or receive a full refund if they no longer wish to travel.’

Police have ordered all residents and tourists to stay off the streets and the island’s mayor has put in a request to declare a state of emergency following the ‘biblical rain’, local media reported.

Authorities sent phone alerts in several other areas of central Greece, the Sporades island chain and the island of Evia warning people to limit their movements outdoors as the storm sweeps across the country.

Streams overflowed their banks and swept cars into the sea in the Pilion area, while rockfalls blocked roads, a small bridge was carried away and many areas suffered electricity cuts. Authorities evacuated a retirement home in the city of Volos as a precaution.

Greece’s weather service said a Pilion region village received nearly 30 inches of rain late Tuesday, by far the highest level recorded since at least 2006. It noted that the average annual rainfall in the Athens region is around 15.75 inches.

The country’s minister of climate crisis and civil protection, Vassilis Kikilias, said the heavy rain was not expected to ease up until Wednesday afternoon.

The storm comes on the heels of major summer wildfires that hit Greece over the past few weeks, with some burning for more than two weeks and destroying vast tracts of forest and farmland. More than 20 people were killed in the fires.

A man stands on a balcony after a rainstorm in Volos, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

A man stands on a balcony after a rainstorm in Volos, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

Damaged cars are pilled up on a flooded road after a rainstorm in Volos, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

Damaged cars are pilled up on a flooded road after a rainstorm in Volos, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023

A fallen tree is seen in a flooded river during a storm in the city of Volos, Greece, September 5, 2023

A fallen tree is seen in a flooded river during a storm in the city of Volos, Greece, September 5, 2023

A car is damaged after the street is flooded during a heavy rain in Volos, Greece on September 6, 2023

A car is damaged after the street is flooded during a heavy rain in Volos, Greece on September 6, 2023

A car is damaged after the street is flooded during a heavy rain in Volos, Greece on September 6, 2023

A car is damaged after the street is flooded during a heavy rain in Volos, Greece on September 6, 2023

 

Desperate Brits are begging for advice after finding themselves stranded on the flooded island of Skiathos or the surrounding islands

Desperate Brits are begging for advice after finding themselves stranded on the flooded island of Skiathos or the surrounding islands

Footage shared by locals shows fast moving water rushing through the the streets of Skiathos, where just days ago Brits were enjoying the end of their summer holidays. 

Holidaymaker Emma Taylor said that fearful hotel staff asked guests to check out of their rooms if they were due to fly home.

They were then allowed to check back in again if their flights were cancelled, as many have been, she said.

The mother said: ‘This is a serious storm. Flooding in our hotel corridors, ceilings, power cuts, and we’re lucky as we’re up high at the Skiathos Palace, Koukounaries. Some guests have been asked to check out of their rooms.’ 

Emma, whose daughter is celebrating her 22nd birthday today on the holiday island, said her family are trying to make the most of it amid electricity outages, flooding and torrential rain outside.

She told MailOnline that the whole experience has been ‘dramatic and stressful’ and that she and her family have been ‘trapped’ inside their hotel.

Dangerous sea conditions forced ferries to and from the island to be halted, leaving many passengers unsure whether they will be able to catch their flights home over the next few days. 

Jet2 said in a statement on Tuesday evening: ‘We are aware of the weather conditions affecting Skiathos, and we are closely monitoring the situation with our customers best interests in mind.

‘As a result of the conditions, which are completely outside our control, we have taken the decision to cancel all flights that are due to depart to Skiathos today and tomorrow (five flights in total). 

‘This is in addition to one flight from London Stansted to Skiathos which diverted to Thessaloniki because of the weather yesterday, where customers have been provided with hotel accommodation. This flight will return customers to the UK tomorrow (Wednesday 6th September).

‘We are contacting all affected customers and they will of course receive a full refund.’

Pictured are boats and cars being washed away by severe flooding sweeping across Skiathos

Pictured are boats and cars being washed away by severe flooding sweeping across Skiathos

Storm Daniel has battered eastern parts of Greece, including Skiathos island

Storm Daniel has battered eastern parts of Greece, including Skiathos island

Footage shows a car being swept away as huge rolling waves crash into the pier in Agios Ioannis
Footage shows a car being swept away as huge rolling waves crash into the pier in Agios Ioannis

Footage shows a car being swept away as huge rolling waves crash into the pier in Agios Ioannis

An image taken with a drone shows drifted belongings and cars on the street at the Istanbul Furniture Market after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

An image taken with a drone shows drifted belongings and cars on the street at the Istanbul Furniture Market after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

An image taken with a drone shows containers in the floodwaters at the Halkali Customs after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

An image taken with a drone shows containers in the floodwaters at the Halkali Customs after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

Drifted belongings lie on the street at the Istanbul Furniture Market after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

Drifted belongings lie on the street at the Istanbul Furniture Market after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

A man wades through floodwaters after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

A man wades through floodwaters after floods hit the west districts of Istanbul, Turkey, 06 September 2023

An aerial view of furniture manufacturers' site where evacuation efforts continue after heavy rains cause flash floods at Basaksehir district of Istanbul, Turkiye on September 06, 2023

An aerial view of furniture manufacturers’ site where evacuation efforts continue after heavy rains cause flash floods at Basaksehir district of Istanbul, Turkiye on September 06, 2023

The travel operator earlier advised customers on X that staff are ‘aware of the weather conditions currently affecting Skiathos’ and ‘are monitoring the situation very closely with our customer’s best interests in mind’. 

Storm Daniel is causing severe flooding across the region, with people being ordered off the streets.

Footage shared on social media shows a car being swept away as huge rolling waves crash into the pier in Agios Ioannis, a village on the east side of the mainland.

Residents in the central mainland town of Volos and the nearby mountain region of Pilion have been told to not leave their homes as a severe storm hit the area, turning streets into flooded torrents.

The ban, which covers all except emergency services and roadside assistance vehicles, will remain in place until the storm subsides, police said.

Fierce rainstorms also battered Turkey and Bulgaria on Tuesday, triggering flooding that caused at least seven deaths, including two holidaymakers swept away by a torrent that raged through a campsite in northwestern Turkey.

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya said four other people were missing after the flash flood swept over the campsite in Kirklareli province, near the border with Bulgaria. He said about 12 vacationers were at the site when the waters hit.

Search teams had located two bodies, he said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. ‘The search and rescue efforts for the missing (four) continue uninterrupted,’ he added.

Television footage showed rescuers carrying a young girl and an adult to safety from waters reaching waist-high in some areas. The rains also damaged and forced the closure of a main road, HaberTurk television reported.

In Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, heavy rain flooded streets and homes in two neighborhoods, leaving at least two dead, according to a statement from the governor’s office. 

Around a dozen people were rescued after being stranded inside a library, while some subway stations were shut down. Istanbul Gov. Davut Gul urged motorcyclists to stay home.

In Bulgaria, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said two people died and three others were missing after a storm caused floods on the country’s southern Black Sea coast.

Overflowing rivers caused severe damage to roads and bridges. The area also suffered power blackouts, and authorities warned residents not to drink tap water due to contamination from floodwaters.

Cars are pictured battling rising water as people wade through it in the city of Volos

Cars are pictured battling rising water as people wade through it in the city of Volos

Floodwaters submerge a car and surrounding houses in Milina village, Pilion region, central Greece

Underwater: Floods have ripped through streets in Volos, Greece, as storms lash the country

Underwater: Floods have ripped through streets in Volos, Greece, as storms lash the country

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Dramatic videos and pictures have revealed the scale of the floods sweeping through Volos in Greece

A man is pictured attemting to drive his motorbike through flood waters in Volos

A man is pictured attemting to drive his motorbike through flood waters in Volos

A man is pictured clearing debris off the road following a flash flood in Volos

A man is pictured clearing debris off the road following a flash flood in Volos

Pictured are fast flowing stream waters that have risen during a heavy storm in the city of Volos

Pictured are fast flowing stream waters that have risen during a heavy storm in the city of Volos

A fallen tree pictured in a flooded river during the brutal storm in the city of Volos

A fallen tree pictured in a flooded river during the brutal storm in the city of Volos

Officials rescue a man after the downpour caused floods and stream overflows in Demirkoy district of Kirklareli, Turkiye

Officials rescue a man after the downpour caused floods and stream overflows in Demirkoy district of Kirklareli, Turkiye

A car washed in the sea at Arapia camping near Tsarevo at the Bulgarian Black sea coast after heavy rains led to flooding

A car washed in the sea at Arapia camping near Tsarevo at the Bulgarian Black sea coast after heavy rains led to flooding

Two people died and one more was missing as torrential rains hit Bulgaria's Black Sea coast on Tuesday

Two people died and one more was missing as torrential rains hit Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast on Tuesday

The extreme weather comes on the heels of major wildfires that hit Greece over the past few weeks, with some burning for more than two weeks and destroying vast tracts of forest and farmland. More than 20 people were killed in the fires.

A massive blaze raging over the last two weeks destroyed swathes of the Dadia national park in the northern Evros region.

Artopios told AFP that the Dadia fire front, raging since 19 August, was ‘under control and no area was active’.

‘Firefighters are staying in position to survey the situation,’ he added.

Classified by experts as a ‘megafire’, the blaze raging in Dadia destroyed more than 81,000 hectares (200,155 acres) of the forested area, protected by the European agency Natura 2000.

The devastation in Dadia accounts for almost half the total area burned by wildfires in Greece since the start of the summer, according to the European climate service Copernicus.

Like several Mediterranean countries, Greece faces fierce wildfires every summer, which this year left 26 people dead and at least 150,000 hectares burned.

Police and rescue services searched on Tuesday for three people missing after devastating floods hit central Spain as trains to the south resumed after thousands of passengers were left stranded.

The torrential downpour that swept over large swathes of Spain on Sunday and Monday, caused by a so-called cut-off low phenomenon, left three people dead and wreaked havoc on transport infrastructure, shutting roads, subway lines and high-speed train connections. The heaviest damage was in the provinces of Toledo and Madrid in the country’s centre.

Local authorities, the army’s emergency response corps, firefighters and law enforcement officers were working to ‘guarantee the stability of a key pipeline in the system supplying water to more than 270,000 people in the south of Madrid and Toledo’, Environment Minister Teresa Ribera told reporters.

Ribera was speaking from the town of Aldea del Fresno, southwest of Madrid, which was devastated by the flooding of the Alberche River.




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