Greece paralysed by rare heavy snowfall

Greek carrier Aegean Airlines cancelled all but five flights on Monday and said it expected schedules to be disrupted on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. COVID-19 vaccination facilities in the wider Athens region and on the nearby island of Evia closed, health officials said.


Reuters | Athens | Updated: 24-01-2022 22:35 IST | Created: 24-01-2022 22:33 IST
Greece paralysed by rare heavy snowfall
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • Greece

A blanket of heavy snow covered Greece on Monday, from the Acropolis hill over Athens to the islands in the south, disrupting air traffic, bringing transport and COVID-19 vaccinations to a halt and forcing schools to close.

As the storm, named Elpida, swept across Greece, snow blanketed beaches and beach umbrellas on the Athenian coast, and train and bus services in the capital were suspended. Drivers who ventured out found themselves stranded. "We've already been here for three hours," said Theodoris Petrou, standing by his car. "It didn't have snow at first, there was only about 2cm on the road, but as time goes by things are getting worse and worse."

Heavy snowfall is rare in Athens, which has been hit by snowstorms for the second consecutive year. Authorities said the cold spell was expected to persist until Wednesday and more extreme weather was forecast for Tuesday.

"I repeat, tomorrow will be a difficult day," said Christos Stylianides, Greece's climate crisis and civil protection minister, urging citizens to avoid non-essential travel. Greek carrier Aegean Airlines cancelled all but five flights on Monday and said it expected schedules to be disrupted on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccination facilities in the wider Athens region and on the nearby island of Evia closed, health officials said. Many schools were shut and students switched to remote learning.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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