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Storm Zorba brings flooding to Athens

Winds of up to 55mph were reported.

A rare and powerful Mediterranean storm has brought torrential rain to southern Greece, reaching the capital Athens late in the night.

Civil protection services remained on alert across most of the country despite word that the turbulent weather had lost force as it moved east.

In Athens, roads were flooded and traffic was disrupted near the city centre, as well as in coastal suburbs south of the city.

The fire service said it had fielded more than 100 calls for flooded homes and to remove fallen trees.

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A firefighter tries to drain water from a house in Kalamata (Nikolia Apostolou/AP)

Earlier, winds of up to 55mph were reported as the storm moved past the south-western tip of the Peloponnese. It then lashed the north-eastern part of the peninsula on its way to Athens.

People were evacuated from the eastern Peloponnese seaside village of Nea Kios, which was partly flooded and without electricity.

Elsewhere in the Peloponnese region, rivers overflowed and some damage was reported.

The fire service reported that calls had come in from towns near the city of Corinth requesting help rescuing people from cars trapped in flooded streets and evacuating residents from homes.

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Ferries docked at Rafina’s port (Yorgos Karahalis/AP)

The powerful storm — which was called Zorba locally — is expected to move towards islands in the Aegean Sea and along Turkey’s coast. All ferry services from mainland ports near Athens were cancelled.

On the island of Lesbos, authorities have requested buses to be ready to move refugees from the overcrowded Moria camp, especially those living in tents, as the storm was expected to reach the island on Sunday morning.

A last-minute effort was being made to find ways to house the refugees moved from the camp.

Police said traffic on the main highway between Athens and the Peloponnese was closed 34 miles west of the capital due to flooding.

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