Rare heavy snow paralyses Greek capital and disrupts flights

A blanket of heavy snow covered the Greek capital on Monday, from the Acropolis hill to the coast 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 covered Athens and its suburbs.


Reuters | Athens | Updated: 25-01-2022 02:23 IST | Created: 25-01-2022 02:22 IST
Rare heavy snow paralyses Greek capital and disrupts flights
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI
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A blanket of heavy snow covered the Greek capital on Monday, from the Acropolis hill to the coast 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 covered Athens and its suburbs. Rescue crews freed drivers stranded for hours on Athens' ring road. Heavy snowfall is usually rare in Athens, but the city has now been hit by snowstorms for a second consecutive year.

Train and bus services in the capital were suspended. Six passengers were slightly injured when a rail transport vehicle tried to pull their train halted in heavy snow in central Greece. COVID-19 vaccination facilities in the wider Athens region and on the nearby island of Evia were closed, health officials said.

State services, schools, non-essential shops and banks in those two areas and on many Greek islands, including Crete, will also be shut on Tuesday as the cold spell was expected to persist until Wednesday. "It will be a difficult night," said Christos Stylianides, Greece's climate crisis and civil protection minister.

Greek carrier Aegean Airlines cancelled all but five flights on Monday and said it expected schedules to be disrupted on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Turkish authorities also had to halt flights at Istanbul Airport due to heavy snowfall in the city, while the wintery weather snarled transportation across the country.

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

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