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Environment

Rainstorm lashes Crete, sweeps away cars

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Heavy rainfall lashed parts of Crete on Tuesday, flooding homes and streets and sweeping away cars in torrents of water, authorities said.

The rain flooded residences and stores in the northern town of Hersonissos, a popular summer tourist resort, and nearby villages, government officials said. Scenes showed cars almost submerged and storefronts and homes blocked by rising rainwater.

“Since last night and until today, incessant, huge amounts of water have turned the streets into rivers... and unfortunately, the damage is inestimable,” Tassos Kouroupakis, the civil protection governor for Crete, told Greek state television.

The fire brigade said it had received 230 calls to pump out rainwater from homes and help people trapped in the floods move to safety.

It is the second time in three weeks that the Mediterranean island has been hit by bad weather. A freak storm swept through Heraklion, Crete’s biggest city, on October 20.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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