Archive for September, 2015

One week later

Aloupi 23 September 2015

Aloupi 23 September 2015

Aloupi 29 September 2015

Aloupi 29 September 2015

Indicative of the clean-up progress being made around the island, these two photos show the progress in the Aloupi area. Aloupi is at the confluence of at least two seasonal water courses: one that comes down from the steep old road to Glossa, and another that comes down from Raches to the Papadimou spring and then to Aloupi. Many truckloads of mud and rocks were removed from this area over the three days when the real clean-up began. Supervised for the town by Babis Kochelis and with veteran earth mover Apostolis Goumas operating the scooper, work progressed in an orderly manner.

After the platia at Aloupi was relatively clean, the team moved up along the river bed road towards the Papadimou spring. This is a much more complicated task as the way is narrow (no place to turn around) and blocked not only with mud, but boulders and fallen trees.

Babis and the trunk of a 150 year old olive tree blocking the way.

Babis by the trunk of a 150 year old olive tree blocking the way.

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A part of the athletics/football stadium behind Carrefour supermarket has been flooded. Anybody who wishes to help clean the stadium can go there every day after 3 (weather permitted)

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Limnonari beach (sand and rocks) will recover in the winter with the tide going in and out but the problem on this beach is the piece of land between the first and second taverna where a river used to flow. There were pipes there to take the water but the amount of water that came down the mountain just took the pipes into the sea. You can see the pipe in one of the pictures. Maybe a bridge can be built?

(Photos by Mike)

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The Story
On September 22nd, at around 9pm, torrential rainfall fell in three hours over Skopelos. Walls crumbled, houses were devastated, cars fell in to the sea, taverns, supermarkets, car rental agencies and other businesses were destroyed overnight. The scenes were horrifying and the stories continue about the families who have been affected.

The only way that Daphne Jaeggi-Chliverou and I could think of trying to make a difference for the island is to try to help. These people are our friends, family, community and they need everyone’s support. Especially now that they are already in a huge financial crisis. We have our doubts that the government will be able to give much if anything to the people in the state that it is in.

For more info see: https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/skopelos-greece-disaster-fund

From Daphne: Jill and I, who are friends, have talked endlessly about a disaster fund that needs to be set up and I have talked with various people who all want to do something. My only concern is who will decide what goes to who if any money is being donated. My concern is not which disaster fund is good, because the organizations that have set up something are all legit. Jill is getting many requests from people from the USA, others will get requests from people who know people from NIKOS. All good! Let’s try and make it work for everybody who has been hit.

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Another disaster fund


Skopelos Needs U!

One week after the disastrous storm that hit the island on the night of September 22nd 2015, basic island infrastructures and many local businesses have been destroyed. A large number of our fellow citizens have sustained major or incalculable damage to their properties.

An intensive effort to restore the island has recently begun. Unfortunately, the forces of the Municipality and the State are limited due to the difficult economic situation we are experiencing, and also the bureaucracy.

NIKOS, the Sailing Club of Skopelos, together with friends of the island, is taking the initiative to contribute substantially to bring the island back to its original state.

For many years Skopelos has generously offered us its beauty but now the island needs every one of us to give something back.

Please donate any amount you can to make the island even more beautiful than before. Money will be allocated as follows:

•> 10,000 euro raised will be distributed to poor families who have been seriously affected.

• from 10,000 to 30,000 euros will be allocated to businesses that were badly damaged.

• <30,000 euros will be allocated to public projects or public buildings that were damaged.

Let’s make Skopelos even more beautiful than the one we knew before this natural disaster.

NIKOS is a legitimate sports (non-profit) organization actively participating in the social life of the island. Through the page skopelosneedsu.blogspot.com, which will be updated every three days, you will be kept fully informed of the amounts raised and how the money will be spent.

Donations via Paypal: ID 22092015 and IBAN: GR9701104710000047129604865 (National Bank/Beneficiary: Nautical Sailing Swimming Skopelos Association – Club)


Click the send button

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Wondering about the lake?


Martin Becket took a photograph yesterday and he says; “its dry and also all the landscape fabric seems to have fennel growing through it..”

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Disaster fund

The last couple of days I (Daphne) have had contact with many people about a disaster fund that needs to be opened. Abroad there are many people thinking about it but the organization and distribution of money is pretty difficult. I just came back from the mayor who told me that there is going to be a disaster fund and when the account number is available we will publish it.
The council will convene and with their permission a group of people will be appointed who will think of the ways to distribute money and to who. As soon as I have more information we will publish it.

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Clean up carefully


This might be a little late for many but here it is anyway.
Those who have passed from Skopelos out towards Stafilos after the flood no doubt noticed all the trash mixed in with the stones and other rubble. The trash came from the town’s old landfill which was located just below the current Skopelos Holidays Hotel and Spa. It occurred to us that the cleanup in this area might be hazardous as who knows what kind of garbage had been dumped there. The plastic bags indicates that the dump was active into “modern times” and might have also been used illegally after the new landfill was built.

There are suggestions cleaning and disinfecting flooded homes at these two websites.There are probably others.

Click to access m4340131_ReturningHome_ENG.pdf

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Terrain and water

Thinking that people might be interested, reader David Delmonte sent a link to a site which features different types of maps. Due to the recent catastrophic rains which you may have heard about, I (Tom) decided to highlight some areas and mark their approximate drainage area. There are many factors which determine what happens to rainwater once it hits the ground but four important ones are: the area of surface receiving rain, the rate of rain, the height/steepness of the slopes, and the characteristics of the land.

A really clear example is the Neo Klima map (below) which shows that the town sits at the base of a bowl of steep mountains as high as 600 meters. A recipe for disaster according to the map. However, a thick pine forest mitigates the rainfall and saves the town from complete destruction.
[Maps enlarge with a click]

Neo Klima

Neo Klima







Limnonari sits at the bottom of the

Limnonari sits at the bottom of the “Potami area decline. Over the centuries the river has cut a long steep gorge into the rock just above the beach.


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A perfectly reasonable flood canal lies dry after an overwhelming torrent of rocks, trees, and junk diverted itself to the left and through an olive grove.

A perfectly reasonable flood canal lies dry after an overwhelming torrent of rocks, trees, and junk diverted itself to the left and through an olive grove.

We have heard repeatedly and read in this blog that “Insurance won’t cover flood losses because it was an ‘Act of God'”.
Not so true. Flood insurance, and similarly earthquake insurance is available. Such disaster insurance is much too costly for most people and so they are willing to take the risk that their property will not be damaged.

When we (Tom and family) were insuring our house we had several coverage options which included fire and earthquake (I don’t remember if there was a flood option). The earthquake option was so expensive we declined. Flood coverage may have been similarly costly. Fire insurance is a must.

Earthquake and flood insurance rates most likely vary from place to place. In places that are not prone to earthquakes the rates would be cheap because nobody needs it. Insurance for flooding in low-lying locales near rivers would most likely be high. Dorothy told me that tornado insurance in Kansas was sky-high.

So, in the long run, it might be that those who say that their flood damage is not covered by their insurance because the flood was an Act of God didn’t have flood insurance, or maybe any insurance, in the first place.

Links to flood insurance articles:

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