From file: Migrants stand on the banks of Evros river, natural border between Turkey and Greece, near Edirne, Turkey, March 2, 2020 | Photo: REUTERS/Marko Djurica
From file: Migrants stand on the banks of Evros river, natural border between Turkey and Greece, near Edirne, Turkey, March 2, 2020 | Photo: REUTERS/Marko Djurica

An Iranian man has been swept away and has drowned in a swollen river after violent storms raged across Greece. A woman is also missing, as the search for her continues on Thursday.

On Wednesday, January 12, Greek rescuers, responding to an emergency call from an Iranian man, found the body of a man, also from Iran, who had been swept away in a fast-moving torrent after heavy rains and snow raged across Greece this week.

A woman is also missing from the group of migrants. According to the Associated Press (AP) news agency, the group were trekking across hills in northern Greece, roughly about 40 kilometers east of Greece's second city Thessaloniki.

Search continues

The search for the woman is due to continue on Thursday, reported AP. The Greek police said that the migrants had all entered Greece from Turkey, probably with the help of smugglers, and had been left to find their own way towards Thessaloniki and then northwards towards the Balkan route and Western Europe.

The authorities said they didn't know how many people there were in total in the group, since the rest of the group had moved on after the accident took place.

Severe weather front

Gale-force winds have confined most Greek ferries in port, and temperatures in northern and central Greece are reported to be hovering around freezing, with heavy rain and snow making the weather even more difficult. On Tuesday, the island of Kos declared a state of emergency, reported Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, after two areas of the island had been "battered by storms."

The Southern Aegean regional Governor Giorgos Hazzimarkos, who has jurisdiction over the island, told Greece's Civil Protection Agency that the "extreme weather phenomena" resulting from the Diomidis front on January 8 and 9 had caused "floods, landslides and extensive damage to the road network, endangering lives and property."

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Greece registered 8,803 new arrivals in 2021, some of whom had made it there over the Aegean Sea from Turkey, while others had trekked across the land border and the Evros river in northern Greece.

The numbers of those making it into Greece over the land border were slightly higher in 2021 than those who decided to try and cross the sea.

With AP

 

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