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Hundreds rescued as new storm pummels Greece

Greece was devastated by cataclysmic amounts of rain dumped by Storm Daniel just weeks ago. (AP pic)

ATHENS: Hundreds of people were rescued from floods in Greece overnight and early today, officials said, as a new storm hit the country just weeks after floods left 17 dead.

The fire service said it had assisted over 250 people in the region surrounding the central city of Volos, where a curfew was declared yesterday as Storm Elias made landfall.

The storm also hit the island of Evia, prompting emergency traffic restrictions in the north of the island.

Earlier in September central Greece was devastated by cataclysmic amounts of rain dumped by Storm Daniel, which left 17 people dead, destroyed crops and killed tens of thousands of farm animals across a wide area in the heart of Greece’s agricultural production.

Agriculture minister Lefteris Avgenakis yesterday said clean-up crews had disposed of over 180,000 dead livestock and poultry, but were still unable to reach over a dozen chicken farms cut off from access roads.

Destroyed crops include cotton, corn, wheat, apples and kiwis, he said.

Facing a barrage of criticism at a perceived failure in cooperation between the army and civil protection in the hours following the disaster, the government has pledged over €2 billion in reconstruction funds.

EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski is scheduled to tour the central region of Thessaly on Oct 5, Avgenakis said yesterday.