A Symi storm update from my point of view. (I.e., may not be 100% accurate but it’s what I see.) Well, I can’t speak for everyone but… We were in Yialos on Friday, and parts of the harbour appear to be back to normal. The road, in places, is almost clean of mud again, shops are open, and businesses are running. But it’s not the case everywhere. At the back of the harbour and around the square there is still a lot of mud to be washed away, either by rain or with hoses. Guys were hosing down the individual tiles from the children’s playground, for example, so work is still going on.
Some businesses were open along the west end of the harbour (the ‘flat’ end where the taxi boats are), Eva’s Café and the one affectionately known as ‘Comfy Chairs’ were back to work, but Pacho’s is still closed. They have been putting down a new floor there, and the Symi Corner Café was still closed. I’m pretty sure this was open last winter with new surround and heaters. The bridge Pharmacy was open again having lost ALL of its stock apart from what was on a high shelf or two. The shelves were half empty as they await replacement stock. Other business in the bridge area were not open yet and still need work.
One of the things that’s holding people back is the Government relief scheme, and it’s a tricky one. For anyone not insured, the Government have a scheme where they help you out, but they won’t replace anything older than five years. Even if your equipment is under five years old you still have to prove it was there, working and needs replacing and there are, I hear, forms to fill out and of course, lots of bureaucracy to deal with. I do wonder, though, if you know the Government has a scheme for those not insured, what’s the point of paying for expensive insurance? Especially when the insurance companies tell you, after the catastrophic event that has ruined your life, that the storm, flood and mudslide was an act of God. I always dispute this term anyway as not everyone believes in God, and why should, for example, a Humanist accept an insurance policy where something he/she doesn’t believe in has a say over it? The legal term ‘Force Majeure’ (the legal term) or ‘Casus Fortuitus’ in Latin would be more appropriate. But that’s another matter.
The point is, the harbour appears to be slowly recovering and getting back to normal but I am sure there are individual stories that would tell you the opposite. In other parts, like up in Upper Horio and Stavros, there is still much work to do in rebuilding paths and even putting back on some basics, like the water pipes. Symi is not out of the woods yet, though in places it may be out of the mud.
The photos today were taken a week or so ago and yesterday morning – I am still more or less housebound with this cold/flu thing and, frankly, not even up to writing well, let alone doing anything else.