Deadly Mandra floods in Nov. 2017 a result of local gov’t failures

Forestry officials, elected municipal officers and engineers from the private sector share the responsibility for the deadly floods that hit western Attica in November 2017, according to an official report published Monday.

Twenty-four people died in the floods that swept through Mandra, that devastated the town after torrential rain.

Public Administration Inspector General Maria Papaspyrou said in an 82-page report that the civil services ought to have accelerated anti-flooding projects, given the history and frequency of the phenomenon in the area, as recorded from 2014 on, and proposed all responsible parties be prosecuted.

In her report, Papaspyrou said the following:

– The Forestry department of Egaleo delayed for three years the decision of what was forestland or not, thus delaying in turn the beginning of needed flood-protection works.

– The City Planning dept. of Elefsina did not follow through with the timely registration of illegal structures along the main streambed, allowing instead permits for building inside it. There are over 39 illegal structures lying in the bed, including storehouses, homes, gas stations, depots, and soccer fields, she said.

– The Mandra municipality itself allowed the building of a depot and a municipal playing field inside the streambed.

– Private sector engineers assumed and completed the construction of illegal structures within the streambed.