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Weekly wrap-up: Tens of thousands left homeless in the cold after Iran-Iraq earthquake; 'Biblical' flooding hits Greece

November 17, 2017; 8:52 AM


Intense storms have killed more than a dozen people in Greece this week.

Downpours resulted in devastating flooding and mudslides, hitting the outskirts of Athens. The flooding swamped homes and businesses while also washing out a section of major highway.

The mayor of Mandra, an Athens suburb, called the damage "biblical," on state-run TV.

The floods ravaged through poor areas, turning streets into rivers of mud, according to The Guardian.

Greece AP 11/15

Staff at a car rental store clean up damage in front of a washed up vehicle following a powerful storm on the Greek island of Symi, on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. (Argiris Madikos /Eurokinissi via AP)


Local officials received dozens of calls for help as people were stuck in flooded homes and vehicles.

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted the As-Sulaymaniyah region near the Iraq and Iran border on Sunday, killing more than 500 and injuring more than 10,000.

Iranian officials expressed concerns that fatalities and injuries may be higher due to the number of remote villages across the region that have not yet been accounted for.

Cold weather gripped the region during the week, putting more lives in danger. Temperatures fell near the 32-degree Fahrenheit mark (0 C), putting thousands of people who are now homeless at risk for cold-related illnesses, such as hypothermia.

According to the Associated Press, more than 12,000 tents were distributed in the hardest-hit areas, though more than 30,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the quake.

Iran AP 11/13

Survivors of the earthquake warm themselves in front of destroyed buildings at the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Pouria Pakizeh/ISNA via AP)


However, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked for continued aid shipments to these areas due to the cold weather.

A technical failure on Puerto Rico's maligned power grid dropped generation from 50 to 22 percent on Wednesday amid gripping heat.

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While levels climbed to 40 percent by Thursday, temperatures above 90 F continue to exacerbate hazardous conditions for those still in the dark.

Hurricane Maria blasted the island nearly two months ago, putting Puerto Rico in complete disarray.

Puerto Rico's power company expects it will bring power up to 80 percent by Nov. 30 in accordance with the goal of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, according to an AAE tweet.

More than 100,000 in western Washington lost power early this week as a storm unleashed fierce winds and drenching rain over the region.

seattle wind waves

Waves hitting a breakwater send salt spray onto homes along Puget Sound in a windstorm Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


Strong winds toppled trees around the Seattle area.

A tree fell onto a car, killing one person in Renton, just south of Seattle, according to a spokesperson for the King County Sheriff's Office. Another person was injured.

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