Body found by divers in Greece raises death toll from recent storm to 16

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Coast guard divers in central Greece have recovered the body of an unidentified man in an area where authorities are searching for a missing Austrian couple in the wake of a massive storm, officials said.

The discovery raises the death toll attributed to flooding from the storm to 16.

The body was pulled from the sea near the central city of Volos, and taken to a morgue for identification. The missing Austrian couple had rented a vacation home in the forested area, which was destroyed by a torrent of floodwater.

Extensive flooding across central Greece has caused widespread damage to property, farms and infrastructure. Municipal crews are racing to dispose of tens of thousands of dead farm animals to prevent the spread of disease, while stranded areas are receiving emergency supplies delivered by helicopter.

Elderly residents in need of medical attention were being moved to nearby towns using boats or by being placed in the buckets of earthmoving vehicles.

A senior prosecutor on Wednesday ordered an investigation into allegations that officials in disaster-hit areas failed to complete publicly funded flood-prevention projects on time. The Supreme Court prosecutor noted that potential offenses include breach of duty and manslaughter due to breach of duty.

On Tuesday, the European Union promised emergency aid worth 2.25 billion euros ($2.42 billion) provided from unclaimed funds.

Greece’s regional rival Turkey offered assistance to the government in dealing with the aftermath of the floods and a series of major wildfires earlier in the summer.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter of support to Greece’s president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, to offer help in the “spirit of neighborly solidarity in these difficult times,” her office said in a statement.