According to news reports, the historical stone bridge of Plaka in the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece collapsed on Sunday following two days of torrential rains which have literally forced local authorities to open a dam to prevent further flooding in the area.
The bridge which was constructed by Konstantinos Bekas in 1866 over the Arachthos river, is viewed as being one of the region's most prominent landmarks and attracts thousands of tourists and hikers every year. The Epirusgate news site said in a report that following the collapse only a small part of the bridge remains on the side of Monolithi village.
Meanwhile, another bridge suffered serious damages in the area of Komboti in Arta in western Greece on Sunday, after torrential rains in the region raised water pressure against the construction.
The torrential rains are so intense that the regional authority of Epirus issued a warning on Sunday that urged its citizens to be on alert for possible flooding, both in the lowlands and even in the city of Arta. At the same time it announced that it would open the flood gates of the damn in Pournari in the framework of allowing water to flow into Arachthos River. The dam is adjacent to the local power utility unit. The dam last opened during the floods of 2005.
"The administration of PPC's hydroelectric dam in Pournari will release a larger quantity of water in Arachthos River because the water level has risen dangerously after intense weather conditions," it announced in a press release.Meanwhile, the Deputy regional Arta prefect, Vasilis Psathas, told Real FM radio that it is preparing to evacuate some villages in the area.
"We are in full alert, we are informing people. It's possible we will have to evacuate villages and communities. We have been preparing for this since Saturday," he said.A man near the city of Arta shot some footage of a stone bridge in danger of being swept away from the force of the water of the overflown river. The video was posted on the Facebook page of Arta City - Amvrakia. CLICK Here to view - https://www.facebook.com/pages/ARTA-City-ancient-Amvrakia-Greece
Epirus was not the only region to suffer from torrential rain. In the region of Thessaly it was reported that the banks of the Pineios river also flooded. The Trikalaola.gr newsite apparently released a video showing how the water has blanketed the whole region. Also in central Greece, the Spercheios River in the area of Phthiotis was reported to have flooded the valley of Lamia. Apparently it disrupted train services both north- and southbound, essentially cutting Greece in two.
Sources: facebook.com/SevereWeatherReportsGr, epirusgate.blogspot.gr, Lamia report, Trikalaola.gr, enikos, RealFM