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SHAKE AND BLOW
Floods paralyse Saudi city of Jeddah
by Staff Writers
Riyadh (AFP) Nov 21, 2017


Greek flood death toll rises to 21
Athens (AFP) Nov 21, 2017 - The death toll from flash floods near Athens last week has risen to 21, with one more person still missing, officials said Tuesday.

The body of a truck driver was recovered at a municipal vehicle lot in Mandra, the town near Athens worst hit by the flood, nearly a week after he disappeared.

The freak flood struck early last Wednesday in the towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Athens.

Six month's worth of rain fell in just six hours, experts said.

Most of the victims were drowned, carried away by the floodwaters and mudslides, or trapped in flooded cars or basements. Several were found at sea.

Around 1,000 homes and properties have been certified as damaged and their owners will receive state compensation, the government said.

Greece is also expected to request EU solidarity funds for the stricken areas.

The government says ill-conceived building in the area -- some of it by local municipal authorities -- meant this was a disaster waiting to happen.

Corrective drainage works for the area were approved last year, but the work has yet to begin.

Flash floods triggered by heavy rains swept through Jeddah on Tuesday, leaving motorists stranded and forcing authorities to shut schools and universities in Saudi Arabia's second biggest city.

Dozens of people were plucked from vehicles engulfed by floodwaters, Saudi civil defence authorities said, with heavy rainfall expected to last at least until Wednesday.

Local residents posted videos on social media, with one showing a convoy of official cars wading through a road which resembled a lake.

With fears of more rain, which also affected other regions of western Saudi Arabia, the education department announced that Jeddah schools will remain shut for the safety of students.

Flooding occurs almost every year in Jeddah, where residents have long decried poor infrastructure.

Floods killed 123 people in the Red Sea city in 2009, and about 10 people two years later.

An anti-corruption committee led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched an unprecedented crackdown on the elite earlier this month, with the 2009 Jeddah floods among the topics under investigation.

SHAKE AND BLOW
Greece unveils flood relief measures as death toll hits 20
Athens (AFP) Nov 20, 2017
Greece's government on Monday announced relief measures for areas hit by flooding as the death toll rose to 20 with two more people missing. "All households (confirmed to) have sustained damage will receive an emergency benefit of 5,000 euros ($6,000)," government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in a statement. The freak flood struck early on Wednesday in the towns of Mandra, Nea P ... read more

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