Torrential downpours lash Greece and Turkey

Stormy weather adds to the misery of the refugees trapped around the Greek border with Macedonia.

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    Around 1,500 people have found themselves stuck in a mud-laden tent camp on the Greek-Macedonian border near Idomeni [AFP]
    Around 1,500 people have found themselves stuck in a mud-laden tent camp on the Greek-Macedonian border near Idomeni [AFP]

    Many days of heavy rain have left some parts of the eastern Mediterranean underwater. Greece and Turkey have been particularly badly affected, and with the trail of refugees continuing to spill across the region, thousands of vulnerable people have been struggling to cope.

    The last few days have seen a slow moving area of low pressure stagger across the Aegean Sea leaving heavy and steady rainfall across much of Greece. Aktion in the west of the country has recorded 160mm of rain in the past three days. The November average is 150mm.

    Further north, Chrysoupoli had 46mm on Saturday and the rain is still falling.

    It has been wetter still on the shores of western Turkey. Izmir, which also lies on the Aegean coast, had 119mm of rain in 24 hours.

    The rain has been torrential across a good part of northern Greece. The harsh weather exacerbates the existing challenge of accommodating hundreds of refugees near Macedonia where the borders have been closed.

    Until recently, border towns like Idomeni had primarily been transit points for refugees going on to northern Europe. Now, around 1,500 people have found themselves stuck in a mud-laden tent camp, which was meant to act as a temporary shelter.

    The heaviest rain is now easing east. By Monday, forecasters expect the worst of the weather to be over eastern Turkey, Cyprus and across much of the Levant.

    This would mean that the refugees currently in the camps across Lebanon and Jordan would find themselves seeking shelter from the rain, ahead of the pending snow and cold that the forthcoming winter is likely to bring.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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