The flash floods in Mandra were caused by extreme weather, but human irresponsibility and bureaucracy that led to destruction and the loss of 24 lives were even more extreme, said the team of inspectors at the General Inspector of Public Administration in a report on the tragedy, published on Thurday by the newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton.
The inspectors said that the rainfall was very heavy, and the simultaneous merging of overflow from two streams which had been filled in by construction played a very crucial role, but also pointed out the responsibility of the public services and agencies for the delays in implementing flood protection works, and the irresponsibility of local authorities, which created the municipal bus depot of Mandra over one of the filled-in streams.
Inspector general: Bureaucracy and irresponsibility played a role in deaths at Mandra floods
There may have been extreme weather conditions in the area of Mandra, however, without irresponsibility and bureaucratic inflexibility there may have been no deaths, Inspector General of Public Administration Maria Papaspyrou told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Thursday, commenting on her office’s inspectors’ report on the recent flood that plagued Mandra.
According to Papaspyrou, “fixations and inflexibilities in routine issues as well as wrong evaluation of the priorites impeded the construction of the necessary flood protection works in the region.” The responsibility for the tragedy also appears to have had its root causes in the past, when the old national road of Elefsina-Thebes was constructed on a filled-in stream, and the water drainage pipes that were built could not handle the flood waters. “They did not take under consideration that Mt. Pateras has a rocky gorund that can’t contain rain water,” she explained.
She added that the current report is an interim one, based on data collected so far, while specific failures of responsibilities will be listed in the final report. Nevertheless, she has sent this interim report to the prosecutor, she added.