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Greek floods 2023: Which islands are affected by flooding?

Greek floods 2023: Which islands are affected by flooding?

As Greece continues to be ravaged by heavy storms and widespread floods, scores of flights for Brits trying to return from a Greek island have been cancelled.

According to Greece’s weather office, a village in the Pelion region received 75.4cm (2.5ft) of rain late on Tuesday, September 5, into Wednesday, by far the most since at least 2006.

It was stated that the region around Athens receives about 40cm of rainfall on an annual average.

Summer wildfires devastated large areas of farmland and woodland in Greece in the past few weeks, some of which burned for more than a fortnight before the storm.

While acknowledging that his centre-right government "clearly didn’t manage things as well as we would have liked" on the wildfire front, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed both the wildfires and the storms on climate change.

“I am afraid that the careless summers, as we knew them … will cease to exist and from now on the coming summers are likely to be ever more difficult,” he said on Tuesday.

Which Greek islands have been affected?

Alexandroupolis is the location of the fire’s ignition, and water bombs were spotted being dropped onto Stamata, a neighbourhood near Athens, on Monday.

Volos and Skiathos have also been affected, with footage of the rushing river and buried cars.

In the Pelion region of Thessaly, streams overflowed their banks and washed cars into the sea. Additionally, rockfalls blocked roads, a tiny bridge was swept away, and several villages experienced power outages.

Which flights have been cancelled?

A number of flights to and from the Greek island of Skiathos have been cancelled.

Jet2 said that all of its scheduled departures from the island on Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled.

The airline stated that it was keeping an eye on the forecast and will confirm any updated departure times as soon as possible.

Jet2’s most recent statement (as of 1.35pm, Septmeber 6), reads: “We would like to apologise once again for the continued delay to your departure from Skiathos. We know how frustrating the current situation must be. Please be assured that we are constantly monitoring the weather across the island of Skiathos whilst doing our best to give you relevant and timely updates.“There continues to be a high risk of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms due to Storm Daniel for most of today. So, based on the current forecast, we cannot currently operate our flights to or from Skiathos and your flight home continues to be delayed until tomorrow at the earliest.

“Due to bad weather on Monday, a flight from London Stansted to Skiathos was diverted to Thessaloniki on the mainland, where passengers were given hotel accommodations until they could be flown back to the UK.

“It is best to contact Jet2 if your light has been cancelled or you have an upcoming flight to Skiathos.

“Whilst in Skiathos, please continue to follow the advice of the Local Authority.”

What to do if you’re affected by flight cancellations

You are entitled to a refund or a new flight in the event that your flight is cancelled. Whenever the airline contacts you to inform you that the flight has been cancelled, you will typically be asked which option you prefer.

For instance, on the Jet2 site, the advice for those yet to travel reads: “You will automatically receive a full refund for your holiday package, this includes all elements of the package (Flight, Hotel, Transfers).

“For information on your rights under EC Regulation 261/2004, please visit www.Jet2.com/eu261.”

For those stranded in Greece, the airline has given the following advice: “Please arrange and book your own accommodation and any transport needed for the duration of this delay. Simply keep and send your receipts and hotel invoice to hotel.refunds@Jet2.com and include your booking reference. You can claim up to £250 for a room per night, and up to £20 per person as a meal allowance (excluding alcohol) per meal (Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal). You’ll receive a refund for reasonable costs within 14 days of us processing your request.”

However, it is best to contact the individual airline or holiday company you travelled with, as compensation differs.

If travel operators are refusing to refund your trip due to “extraordinary circumstances” or “an act of God”, which they can legally do when weather conditions are involved, then seek further advice. The ClaimAir blog offers advice on what to do.