February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Deadly bad weather in Crete: hotels close, tourists “run” to save themselves


Two deaths and innumerable disasters were brought to Crete by the raging elements that engulfed many of the tourist areas of the island.

Hotels in Agia Pelagia faced huge problems during powerful storm last Saturday. Tourists were forced to leave their rooms immediately. “Two hotels were closed due to weather disasters. On the same day, tourists were transferred from two troubled hotels to other safe places. This is about 250 people (150 from one and about 100 from the other), said Nikos Chalkiadakis, president of the Union of Hoteliers of Heraklion.

“There were no delays,” adds Michalis Vlatakis, President of Crete Tourism and Travel Agency, explaining that “From the big hotel, the tourists went to Fodele and the rest went to Athena Pallas. All this was organized and happened in a short time.”

According to the travel agencies of Crete, tourists were sympathetic to the inconvenience they had to endure due to bad weather.

In Agia Pelagia, tourist families had to carry their young children on their shoulders to keep them from getting dirty and injured as they made their way through the clutter and debris along a path that was just a coastal highway.

The big problem in terms of tourists was concentrated at Heraklion Airport. With the onset of bad weather, Nikos Kazantzakis was forced to close, and several flights were diverted to Chania or returned back to Athens. Heraklion airport was put out of action for several hours, a huge flow of flights accumulated. Shortly after 3 pm, when the gradual work of the Nikos Kazantzakis airport began, it was flooded with tourists.

“We are facing incredible situations. There was a time when there were more than 2,000 tourists at the gates of the airport, and 15 planes got stuck on the runway. We even opened the airport captain’s office to let people in so they can “come to their senses,” said Michalis Vlatakis, president of the Crete tourism and travel agency, adding that “traffic jams were cleared in the morning. We did our best. It was an experience we don’t want to go through again.”



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