|Friday, 19 July 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-01-23
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 FRIDAY 24 JANUARY 2004
 HEADLINESAuthorities remain on high alert to counter any more emergencies that may crop up by unstable weather conditions,
Overnight gale-force winds caused extensive damage in Paphos and Limassol,
A freighter with 17 crew sunk in rough seas 120 nautical mles west of Crete,
AND UN Chief Kofi Anna appears optimistic over a resumption of Cyprus settlement talks.
 Authorities alertAuthorities remain on heightened alert to counter any emergency situations that may arise as a result of unstable weather conditions gripping the island.
Work crews are still repairing damage caused by gale-force winds that lashed the island all through the night.
Weather Service Chief Kyriakos Theophilou told CyBC that unstable conditions will continue through today, but at a diminished intensity.
It will be mostly sunny today, but cloudy periods are expected to bring some isolated showers.
Winds will be less intense than they were yesterday and will continue to diminish, but a new front is expected to roll over the island tomorrow night.
Daytime temperatures are lower than the average for this time of year and are expected to drop to 12 degrees.
 Fire ServiceMeanwhile, the Fire Service remains on its highest state of alert.
Fire Chief George Hadjigeorgiou told CyBC that the the service answered 253 calls for help since yesterday morning.
He said crews from the emergency response unit as well as Fire cadets have also been mobilised to meet the great number of calls.
Mr. Hadjigeorgiou said there were fewer problems overnight, but the service remains on alert to deal with any emergencies.
The Fire chief urged the public to check water tanks and TV antennas on their rooftops to forestall any damage.
He also urged drivers not to park underneath trees or near electricity poles that have been felled by high winds.
 Paphos damageOvernight gale-force winds caused massive damage at the Paphos harbour as floodwaters tore off tiles in the square and an assortment of fishersmen's equipment were destroyed.
One fishing boat sunk, while four others are sailing out to sea ungoverned after their mooring ropes were were shorn off.
Paphos Professional Fishermen's Association President Costas Leonida was outraged at the damage and blamed Paphos Municipality and the ports authority for the situation.
Speaking to CyBC, Mr. Leonida claimed authorities have refused to build a higher protective wall around the harbour.
Damage in the rest of the coastal resort mostly involved felled trees with fire and municipality crews working overtime to clear up roads.
 CyBC antennaCyBC technicians managed last night to restore TV and Radio service after making emergency repairs to the wind-battered Tsada relay station.
In a statement, CyBC said efforts are underway to restore the connection with Greek state television from Tsada.
The broadcaster also apologises to viewers and listeners for any inconvenience interruption of service may have caused.
The Tsada relay station sustained heavy damage including the destruction of the station's tower on which TV and radio antennas had been installed.
Full repairs will be time-consuming, but CyBC calls on listeners to tune in for radio programmes on the FM signal broadcast from the Troodos relay station on 97.2, 91.1, 94.8 and 88.2 FM.
Paphos TV viewers can pick up the Greek Television signal on the 28 UHF frequency.
 Kazamias damageCommunications Minister Kikis Kazamias said Limassol authorities have been mobilised to clean up damage caused by yesterday's mini-cyclone.
Mr. Kazamias urged the public to use discretion if they will call clean-up crews, to avoid unecessary travel and to keep telephone lines clear as much as possible.
Limassol Mayor Demetris Kontides described yesterday's weather as unprecedented and thanked municipal crews for their quick and professional handling of emergencies.
He said crews will remain on standby to deal with any new emergencies that might appear today.
 EfthymiouAgriculture Minister Timis Efthymiou said efforts are already underway to register all damage sustained by animal farms so that owners are compensated.
Speaking on a tour of weather-damaged farms in Astromeritis, Mr. Efthymiou said ministry officials will register damage through the weekend so that he gets a clear picture by Monday.
The Minister said he's displeased with poor quality, ramshackle animal farms, adding that compensation will flow out of EU funds.
 Kyprianou stormsFinance Minister Markos Kyprianou said compensation doled out to cover damage caused by yesterday's freak weather may drain state coffers, but that doesn't mean services will be cut back or suspended.
Asked if the government will offer financial help to those hardest-hit by the weather, Mr. Kyprianou said funds will have to be found from other sources to help those in greatest need.
The Finance Minister said citizens should start insuring their property because the state can't always bail them out.
 Limassol robberyAn armed robber snatched about 2,000 pounds from a Limassol Bank of Cyprus branch this morning.
According to the latest information, a hooded gunman brandishing a sawed-off shot-gun burst through the branch's doors shortly before 11 am and ordered employees to pull all the money from the tills in a bag.
The perpetrator fled on foot along Ayios Andreas Avenue.
Police have cordoned off the scene and have launched a manhunt.
The branch is located on Limassol's coastal road.
 Freighter sunkA freighter with 17 crew sank in rough seas early this morning in the Mediterranean sea.
One seaman had been rescued and another one spotted so far.
The Greek-owned vessel Kephi first sent out a distress signal at 2.30 am about 120 nautical miles west of the Greek island of Crete, after taking in water in one of its holds.
One Ukrainian-flagged and one U.S.-flagged ship had rushed to the area to help and were the only ones so far undertaking any rescue efforts.
Greek authorities said the ship had sailed from Istanbul with 8,000 tons of cement and had been heading to a West African port. Of its 17 crew, 16 were Egyptians and one Greek.
 Kofi AnnanUN Chief Koffi Annan appears optimistic that there will be a resumption of Cyprus settlement talks.
In an interview with a German newspaper, Mr. Annan expressed his willingess to re-engage in negotiations on condition that there is a genuine willingness to reach agreement.
Mr. Annan said differences couldn't be bridged last year, but that he is now receiving encouraging messages from both sides.
The UN chief's statements seem to bear out Foreign Minister George Iacovou who said Mr. Annan will call for a resumption of talks without conditions he had set last April for putting his settlement plan to separate referenda.
 Ankara NSCTurkey's powerful National Security Council convenes in Ankara at this hour to forge a common line on Cyprus.
It is believed the NSC will appraise a document drafted by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the country's military hierarchy on the shape of a Cyprus settlement.
The document will be discussed in detail on February 8 when the country's political and military chiefs meet under the chairmanship of President Necdet Sezer.
In a televised message to the Turkish people last night, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will move to restart Cyprus talks in conjunction with the new so-called "government" in the north.
Mr. Erdogan said a great distance has already been traversed in bringing both sides closer together to a common line on Cyprus.
The Turkish PM will ask Kofi Annan to re-engage in settlement talks when he meets the UN chief tomorrow in Davos, Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Akel spokesman Andros Kyprianou said nothing substantial is expected to emerge from the National Security Council meeting.
Mr. Kyprianou said he expects nothing more than what came out of a meeting last week between Mr. Erdogan and military leaders who repeated Turkey's well-worn stance of two states on the island.
 WeatherCloudy periods this afternoon, with some isolated showers and snow in the highest mountains.
Winds will be southwesterly to westerly fresh to near gale, force 5 to 7, with very rough to high seas.
Temperatures will reach 12 degrees inland, 14 on the coasts and 1 degree in the mountains.
More showers and isolated thundershowers tonight with snow in the mountains.
Winds will be northwesterly fresh to strong, force 5 to 6, with rough to very rough seas.
Temperatures will drop to 3 degrees inland, 5 on the east coast, 7 on the west, and minus six in the highest mountains.
Snow depth on Mount Olympus is 35 centimetres and 30 in Troodos Square.