February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Lekkas: we were again unprepared for natural disasters

The unpreparedness for natural disasters was pointed out by the professor of geology and disaster management Efthymios Lekkas, saying that he tried to contact responsible persons from Attiki Odosbut without success, although he assumed that could happen.

In an interview with ERT, the professor noted that “excuses about not knowing the upcoming snowfall intensity look, at least, naive, since meteorologists knew and warned us what we would have to face in a week.”

“Personally, I have survived 60 disasters and every time I discover something unforeseen. Those who make plans for responding to natural disasters should be experienced specialists, not naive (idiot) amateurs, and should not think that through a public demonstration of readiness they will solve these problems, ”the professor emphasized.

According to Mr. Lekkas, there were no snowplows in the Attika Odos maintenance system at 11:00 am when it was snowing heavily. And most importantly, as he told ERT, there was no information about possible congestion: “Instead of Attiki Odos becoming an evacuation route, it turned into a trap. It was a big trap. Huge operational errors contributed to this. We failed miserably in planning.”

The weather forecast was known a week in advance

Mr. Lekkas said that the time when the Elpis cyclone will hit Attica was predicted by the National Meteorological Service (EMS) to within an hour. And claims that they didn’t know when the weather would culminate are naive, as it was known a week earlier.

He emphasized that “there must be an immediate transfer of information from meteorologists to operational agencies, which must be well trained. If the snowplows were on hand, they would be able to fix the problem immediately.”

For Attica Odos

The professor said that he tried several times to contact Attica Odos officials, only to be surprised to find that they were unaware of the danger, as they were supposed to close access to the highway from 11:00 am. “There was no information, not even about a ban on the movement of heavy vehicles.”

As with the summer fires, the government’s highly publicized natural disaster warning system was once again unprepared for real problems. What is the reason for the unavailability? Why is there no one to put out fires, clean roads or save people in a difficult situation?

Maybe in the irresponsibility and indifference of officials? Or in the choice of leaders not on a professional basis, but on personal, family or friendly relations?

In difficult times, at the top of the pyramid of power should be, first of all, professionals, and not family members, friends, acquaintances or friends at joint parties. And these professionals should no less rigidly demand from their subordinates the fulfillment of their duties. Otherwise, similar situations will repeat again and again.


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