Three dead after rare Mediterranean storm batters Greece

Kostas Mantziaris / AFP

Three people have died after Cyclone Ianos, a rare storm known as a medicane, battered Greece, flooding streets and homes.

Ianos uprooted trees and caused power cuts on the Ionian islands and the western Peloponnese. It swept through central Greece on Saturday, hitting the cities of Karditsa and Farsala before it moved south to the island of Crete.

Authorities said the search for a woman reported missing in Karditsa was ongoing.

The heavy rainfall on Saturday turned Karditsa, in one of Greece's biggest plains, into a lake. Video footage showed flooded highways, collapsed bridges and agricultural land turned into mud lakes with farmers carrying their sheep to rescue.

A river flooded its banks and damaged roads and a medical centre in the town of Mouzaki.

Experts estimate that about 5,000 houses were flooded in the area of Karditsa.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is expected to visit the region in the coming days, said the government will provide economic relief to the affected areas.

The fire brigade said it had received more than 2,450 calls in the affected regions for assistance to rescue trapped people, cut down trees, and pump out water from homes and businesses.

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