Torrential rain on 15 October 2022 triggered flash floods in Heraklion and Lasithi Regional Units on the island of Crete, Greece. At least 2 people died, and dozens were rescued or evacuated.
Figures show that in a 24-hour period to early 16 October, Sitia recorded 293.0 mm of rain, Kasteli 81.5 mm and Heraklion 142.7 mm. Strong winds were also reported in the region.
The Greek Fire Department described the flooding as “extreme” and said they received 453 calls for assistance in just one hour.
Two people died after vehicles were dragged by flood waters and swept into the sea on the coast of Agia Pelagia. In a separate incident, firefighters said they managed rescue 2 people from flood waters in the area of Lygaria.
Around 30 people had to be evacuated by emergency teams and transported to a safe place, including 9 tourists from an archaeological site in Sitia. Later the Red Cross reported around 1,200 people were affected or had been displaced by the floods.
The flooding caused significant damage, particularly in coastal areas where flood waters dumped debris, dragged vehicles and damaged buildings. Authorities said emergency teams were operating in the areas of Sitia, Ierapetra, Livadia, Agia Pelagia, Lygaria and Heraklion, among others.
On 13 October Greece’s National Meteorological Service and the General Secretariat of Civil Protection had issued warnings of severe weather in the country. Further warnings were issued on 16 October. Civil Protection asked all citizens to be vigilant in Crete and the southern islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, Kastellorizo and Kasos.