Woman, 80, dead in Ileia flooding

An 80-year-old woman has drowned and dozens of families have been trapped in their homes in the Peloponnesian prefecture of Ileia after heavy rainfall led to serious flooding, authorities said on Sunday.

The city of Pyrgos, the capital of the prefecture, was particularly badly affected, with many of its streets submerged beneath up to a meter of water and widespread damage to infrastructure.

The 80-year-old woman was found dead in her home in the village of Lithari.

Authorities, who declared a state of emergency in Pyrgos, said that they were trying to divert the waters of the River Alfeios, which broke its banks following the heavy rainfall, to tributaries. They added that they were evacuating the city hospital as its basement was flooded and the power was out.

The regional fire service received more than 200 calls from citizens seeking help for flooded basement stores or homes.

Super Puma rescue helicopters were dispatched to rescue dozens more residents trapped in their homes or cars.

The extent of the damage -- to homes, public property and farmland -- remained unclear, though state inspectors are to inspect the area from Monday.

Their efforts might be complicated by fresh rainfall, according to meteorologists, who predict a deterioration in the weather.

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