Greece’s fire-ravaged island now racing to build flood defences

LIMNI, Greece, Oct 6 (Reuters) – In a scorched landscape on the Greek island of Evia, crews of workers chop burnt pine trees, all that’s left from devastating summer wildfires, to set up wooden flood barriers.

Walking on a thick carpet of ash and with the smell of smoke still lingering, they are racing against time to bolster defences before the autumn rains which threaten to flood coastal villages.

The vegetation which would normally absorb the rainfall and reduce runoff has been burnt and the soil might not be able to stop rain water from reaching seaside settlements.

“This is dangerous. If rains start now and go on for 15 or 20 days then all the rivers will overflow,” said worker Giorgos Diakomopoulos as he took a break.

About 300,000 acres of forest and bushland were burnt in different parts of Greece this past summer, amid the country’s worst heatwave in 30 years.

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Source: Reuters