Austrian honeymooners killed after holiday home swept away
A honeymooning Austrian couple tragically lost their lives during their stay in Greece when a severe rainstorm triggered flash floods that swept away the house they were residing in.
This devastating incident occurred in the resort town of Potistika, near Mount Pelion, on September 6, as a result of Storm Daniel.
The proprietor of the holiday home, Thanasis Samaras, had previously mentioned that the couple hailed from Graz. While the names of the individuals have not been disclosed, the Austrian foreign ministry has confirmed their identities through DNA testing.
A spokesperson told the BBC: “It is with deep sadness that we have to confirm the death of two Austrian citizens in Greece.
“The comparisons of DNA profiles have now confirmed the identity of the two missing persons.
“In these difficult times, we extend our deepest condolences to the families and the bereaved.”
Austrian embassy staff in Athens were providing support to the couple’s relatives, the spokesperson added.
Also on Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his country was facing “a war in a time of peace”.
“Over a two-week period, we experienced the worst wildfire and the worst floods in our history.”
More than a dozen people are now known to have died since Storm Daniel hit Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria last week.
The floods which killed 15 people left thousands in temporary shelters or with relatives, while 30 villages were inaccessible with a threat of waterborne diseases.
Some Greek regions received up to 800mm (31.5in) of rain – more than normally seen in a whole year.
The Karditsa plain in central Greece was described as having turned into a lake, with villages around Palamas drowned in water.
The mayor of Palamas, Giorgos Sakellariou, told Greek TV that people were stranded in their homes and described the situation as tragic.
On 8 September, the holiday home’s owner told the BBC the Austrian couple had decided to shelter inside the bungalow they had rented for their honeymoon as the heavy rainfall swept central Greece.
Mr. Samaras said he and other guests had left for higher ground and had advised the couple to do the same.
“The situation was very bad. It’s very difficult to decide what to do in a moment like that,” Mr Samaras said.
Climate scientists have warned that global warming means more water evaporating during the summer, leading to more intense storms.
Greece has battled devastating wildfires for most of the summer. This included the EU’s largest on record, in which at least 20 people were killed last month.