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One dead, many stranded as Greek city floods
by Staff Writers
Athens (AFP) Feb 5, 2012

An elderly woman died on Sunday and nearly two dozen people had to be rescued by fire crews in the western Greece city of Pyrgos after flooding caused by heavy rainfalls, authorities said.

"An 82-year-old woman was found dead in an orange grove, 22 people have been taken to safety and we have received 300 calls to drain water from buildings," a fire department spokeswoman told AFP.

She added that an operation was underway to evacuate the local hospital where around 90 people were receiving treatment according to reports.

The citizen's protection ministry said the occupants of a monastery had also been removed owing to a rockslide and that nearly all villages in the area had been declared in a state of emergency.

Over 30 fire engines were mobilised to help in addition to a search-and-rescue airforce helicopter, two boats and a crawler bulldozer, the ministry said, adding that roads were being kept open.

Greek media reported that rain in the area was the heaviest in five years, with the streets of Pyrgos submerged under one metre (3.2 feet) of water.

Local prefect Apostolos Katsifaras said efforts were being made to divert waters into the tributaries of the local Alfeios River.

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UN makes new appeal for Philippine flood victims
Manila (AFP) Feb 3, 2012
The United Nations made an urgent appeal on Friday for millions of dollars in extra aid to help more than 300,000 people in the Philippines who were displaced by devastating floods late last year. The UN "flash appeal" was increased to $39 million, up from $28 million requested immediately after Tropical Storm Washi washed away whole villages on th southern island of Mindanao on December 16. ... read more

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