Friday, 25 February 2011

Further Mayhem in a Winter to Remember

On Wednesday (Feb 23rd) a tornado came in off the sea and hit the village of Gennadi, completely destroying one of the beach-front tavernas (Klimis) and severely damaging the two on either side. mature trees were lifted out of the ground and a "container" which was sitting in a field was lifted up and carried several hundred metres, where it was dropped on to a house, destroying the roof in the process. We frequently see these twisters out across the bay during the winter months, although they seldom if ever approach the coast. This time it was different.

In a winter that's seen the worst flooding in several South Rhodean villages for decades, several incidences of hail, some of which have left cars with dents all over them from hailstones the size of golf-balls, this is just another worry for the over-stretched finances of the local councils.

Check out a series of videos in this link (which is a local TV station based on Rhodes):

If you're planning to come to Greece this summer, please do come, the local economy needs the tourist's cash more than it ever has before! For all the freakish weather that we've experienced this winter, you can still rely on wall-to-wall sunshine during the high season and very little to interrupt it even during the early and late season too.

I spoke to my friend Philip Gareth Anstee of Lardos just this morning. His house it was that my wife and I helped to clean up after they'd been flooded with filthy silty water on January 28th (see THIS POST), and he told me that, with all the heavy rains that we've had on and off during this past week, he and his family aren't sleeping because every few moments, when they hear the downpour outside, they have to get up and peer out in apprehension. Can't imagine the emotional stress they must be under at the moment. He also told me that he had to buy tyres for his car rather unexpectedly while on a trip to town this week. In fact, at 10 o'clock one night recently, we ourselves hit a huge pothole during the road-works that have been going on for three years now further up the island and burst both our nearside tyres. Tyre retail is the business to be in on Rhodes at the moment. When you couple the fact that many of us have to drive along very rough tracks to get to and from our homes, with the state of the road between Kolumbia and Faliraki, it's hardly surprising.

This country continues to suffer from weekly strikes, including the pharmacists - who currently are striking several days each week - as people seem unable to come to terms with the austerity measures which the government is trying to implement. But frankly, the country has precious little alternative, its finances are in that much of a mess. Don't laugh, if you live in the UK or any one of a clutch of other European countries, you've got all this to come, if it hasn't begun already!!

The great assets which this country will always have are it's warm people (on a grass roots level that is) its superb summer climate and its rich history.

Every Greek we talk to agrees that we need the rain. It's just that we'd like it in slightly smaller doses! ...and without the tornadoes.

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