In the first part of our trek in the destroyed villages of Karditsa, the miserable conditions in which nine shepherds are trying to survive in the cemetery of the community of Vlochos were presented
In the first part of our trek in the destroyed villages of Karditsa, the miserable conditions in which nine shepherds try to survive in the cemetery of the community of Vlochos were presented. THE situation inside the village is even worse. THE Vlochos by September 4, 2023 it was alive with life. Today it reminds… Pompeii.
The water even covered the tiles of the houses. THE mud it stayed for days, watered everything and now that the waters have receded and the mud has dried everything looks like clay. The doors and windows of the houses are broken, households destroyed, personal belongings, family heirlooms and valuables all a tangle. After the shock, the rage. Then despair and now silence.
Third world images
In the streets of the village even today there is no one, nor can you walk. There is mud everywhere and trucks loading the junk, rubble from the houses, portable materials, wood and mud brought by the river. Depositing is done in makeshift landfills relatively close by with the intention of being transported later for incineration. The setting does not resemble Greece. The images are third world.
Just the picture of Jesus
When the trucks stop their noise is dominated by absolute silence. The large village cafe which was once the gathering place has almost collapsed. Refrigerators, kitchens, tables have become a mess. The mini market has been dismantled. There is only one sign in the doctor’s office. Only the image of Jesus Christ she has stayed put. The patients’ valuable medical records were destroyed. It is stacked on the small terrace. The envelopes are bony from water and mud. The church was also destroyed.
Sofa on the tiles
Cars still stuck in the mud and some children’s Teddy bears wedged in the paddock of a house. A sofa and a log of wood are on the tiled roof at the house of Mr. Christos, whom we have been watching for some time looking into nowhere. I approached him, introduced myself and without much ado he started telling me his pain.
“Let’s move to Palamas”
“We continue to want help. Don’t forget us. All of Greece believes that our problems have been solved. Ok, we got 6,600 Euros but we are still waiting for a lot to happen. We are waiting for committees to come to see our houses. We are waiting for an answer to the request of all the inhabitants of the village to move to the upper side of Palamas which is not afraid of floods”, says Mr. Christos who lost everything. He is outside his house and sees everything destroyed. His house, his workshop, his two cars and the tractor.
There were 300 souls and one cat left
Around us there are dozens of plastic bags made of sisitio. As Mr. Christos says, it is the food he brings every day to the only resident of the village, the only cat that survived: “Vlochos has been deserted. The whole world is gone. There is nothing here. Only breeders are left. They sleep on the mountain, in the cemetery. Help and food go to them. There is nothing left here. There were over 300 inhabitants before the bad happens.”
“I come and feed the only cat”
“Fortunately, the Municipality sent buses and evacuated the village so that people would not drown. Grandparents, children all left at the last minute. All the cats drowned. All the dogs in the village drowned. They could not be saved. Only one cat left at the village. I come and feed the cat every day and reminisce about the good times of our village.”
“It was heaven and it became hell”
“I lived here in this house with my two children. It was our paradise. Now look how it happened. Everything was destroyed. The water wiped them all out. I had collected seven tons of wood. They disappeared. Look at my family’s two cars. They were destroyed. Look at the tractor. Total destruction. Our village is not inhabited. Only I come to feed the last cat.”
“The levees broke and we were off”
Seeing one two-seater sofa and a huge tree trunk on the tiles of the house, we asked Mr. Christos how they got up there and he answered: “The water rose 4 meters and 80 centimeters and covered the roofs as well.
The damage was done at dawn. At 4:15 in the morning. They broke the river embankments Enipea and finally. The village is over. They broke the dykes to save Larissa, they broke themselves, we don’t know. Our village was extinguished. The village was alive. We had a lot of people. Now it’s over.”
“How much will they give me to fix it?”
When asked about what they are waiting for and what they have been promised, he said: “They have told us they will come by to see the houses, but no one has come by yet. They said that they will come to see our houses and that they will make them “yellow”, that is, that they can be repaired. Nothing remains of these houses. What should I repair? And how much will they give me to repair these houses? This house needs at least 40,000 Euros to be built and I’m telling you little. There are no frames, glass, windows, plumbing. Even the roofs are useless. Only the cements are left. He brought the mud and it stayed for days. They rusted everything.”
“We were always afraid that the river would step on us”
Ever since he can remember, Mr. Christos has lived with the fear that the water will “step” on them, and it “stepped” on them, as he characteristically says: “In 1953, another big flood happened again. Since then we have been in constant danger. Since I was 12 years old that I remember myself every year we had this fear. We ran to the mountain to save ourselves. We lived in fear. Today the river will step on us, today the river will “step” on us and finally it “stepped” on us.
“We need a year of work to make the repairs”
He emphasizes that the residents’ common request is to move to Palamas: “People want to leave here because they fear that we will soon have the same situation. We want to go to Palamas which is higher. We want them to make us homes there to live safely. Things are dangerous here in the village. All the waters descend from here to go to Pinios. Let there be nothing left for us to stay. Even if we say we start today, we need a year to build these houses. To date, we have received 6,600 Euros for household appliances.”
“I tell my children to be patient”
The worst thing for Mr. Christos was the loss of his tools. He is a plumber but without tools he can’t offer anything and so he wanders like a ghost in the village: “I lost all my tools. I’m a plumber. I can’t work because I don’t have tools. Now we live in a house in Palamas. I have two kids. I tell them to be patient and that something will happen for us too. If a solution is found, they will return. Now they have nothing to do. Even here where we step we sink in the mud”.
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