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Islands suffer winter storms

- by Archimedes

Heavy rains turn roads into rivers.

With memories of summer holidays in the Greek Islands still in mind spare a thought for those living on Rhodes where strong winter storms continue to lash the island.

The sun-kissed island of Rhodes may be a blaze of sunshine during the summer holiday season but this winter is one of the worst ever.

The streets of Rhodes Town were compared to the canals of Venice after thunderstorms hit the island, turning streets into rivers and flooding homes, hotels and shops.

The latest New Year downpours follow a series of winter storms that have killed as least three people, swept away by swollen rivers.

The main road from Rhodes to Lindos was closed after reports of a landslide cause be persistent heavy rains and island fire services have been stretched to the limit responding to calls to help people trapped in their homes or stranded in cars.

Fire crews have been pumping flood water from homes, shops and hotels right across the city of Rhodes but mainly in the areas of Rodini, Sgourou and Korakonero.

Roads were blocked in the Rodini district when an electric pole came crashing into the street cutting electricity supplies to homes and hotels.

River levels have risen all over the island and farmland is threatened by flooding with water described as "at dangerously high levels".

In Afandou the water levels rose half a metre and the village square turned into a lake while torrents of water poured down roads leading to the beach.

And Rhodes is not the only island to suffer problems from winter storms. Serious damage was reported on the island of Kos after storms led to swollen rivers and flooding on the road from Kos Town to Tigaki.

Heavy rains brought high volumes of water down from the mountain, leaving cars stranded, homes flooded and crops damaged.