“Night of death and destruction in Athens”

“Night of death and destruction in Athens”
“Night of death and destruction in Athens”

“Nyx of death and destruction” this was the headline of the newspaper “Eleftheria” on the 7ththe November 1961, two days after the deadly earthquake that struck Athens killing a total of 43 people and leaving 4,500 homeless

The frightful bad weather began on the night of the 5thher November with strong winds, heavy rain, hail and endless lightning. The almost sewerless streets of Athens were flooded, however what was happening at the same time in Burnazi and Ano Liosia was beyond imagination.

Tons of water flooded the slums of the western suburbs, sweeping away everything in their path. Houses were flooded or swept away by the water, while dozens drowned in their homes as the flood trapped them inside.

The water, which has no escape route, continues its destructive course and floods Nea Sfageia (today’s Tauros), Thisio, Aigaleo, Moschato, Neo Faliro, Nikaia, Agios Ioannis Rentis, while according to the testimonies at the time the water in Piraeus had reached two meters.

In the morning of 6her November, 1,500 soldiers and 600 men of the gendarmerie go out to record the extent of the destruction.

400 houses (among them refugee shacks) were destroyed, another 1,500 are deemed ready for collapse and therefore uninhabitable. 4,000 homes have been flooded to a very large extent and a total of 4,500 residents of Attica are left homeless overnight.

In their desperation, most of them reach the mouth of Kifissos. In the mud they look for something from their household items, while locating a valuable item that may not belong to them will secure them a portion of food.

The newly elected ERE government with Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis will house the affected people in schools and according to the press of the time, gives them two sheets of bedclothes each and food for a certain period of time. However, in many cases flood victims reported tragic living conditions.

A few days later the experts will issue their verdict. In this it is stated that within 8 hours 114 millimeters of rain fell, as a result of which the tributary of Liosia could not withstand and the water entered the houses.

The government was also called upon to proceed at all costs with drainage projects, while it was noted that in some cases there was illegal construction.

The article is in Greek

Tags: Night death destruction Athens


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