5th day of water shortages in Greece's second-largest city

By COSTAS KANTOURISMarketsAssociated Press

Large sections of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki have been without water for a fifth day because of damage to an old pipeline.

The center and northwestern parts of Greece's second-largest city have been without water since Tuesday, when a 40-year-old pipeline that brings water to the city from 50 kilometers (30 miles) away burst. Hundreds of thousands of people in the metropolitan area of 1.2 million, which includes the city's suburbs, have been affected.

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Company officials said the damage has been repaired, but water service will resume only gradually, beginning with the city center, and many outlying suburbs will not have water for most of Sunday.

Earlier Saturday, Thessaloniki Water Company chairman Yiannis Krestenitis said that while the damage had been repaired, the water coming through the pipeline was "unfit for consumption." The company later said the water quality issues had been resolved.

Schools were forced to close, hospitals were affected and people flocked to public fountains to fill plastic bottles and containers with water.