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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-24

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Snow front hits Greece, closing schools, tying up ferries and cancelling flights

  • [01] Snow front hits Greece, closing schools, tying up ferries and cancelling flights

    All of Greece was in the grips of a snow and freezing temperatures front from Siberia on Tuesday, which has tied up ferry boats due to gale-force winds and caused cancellations of flights from Athens's Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (AIA) to several domestic and foreign destinations due to heavy snow and frost on the runways at the destination airports. Heavy snowfall in many parts of the country has also caused the cancellation of classes at all school levels locally, while snow chains are required for vehicles throughout much of the country's road network. The lowest temperature was recorded in the northwestern town of Nevrokopi, Drama prefecture, which registered -20 C in the early morning.

    Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (AIA) and Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport were running normally, but travellers were advised to call for information about their flights due to the closure of destination airports both in Greece and abroad due to heavy snowfall. Ioannina airport was closed, while flights to several destinations, including Istanbul, Preveza, Alexandroupolis and Myknos were cancelled.

    In central western Macedonia temperatures plunged to -10C in Florina, -8C in Kozani and Kastoria, and -6C in Serres, while Thessaloniki was covered in more than 10 cm of snow early in the morning, with the temperature at -4C. Primary and secondary schools were closed in the region, but urban buses were running normally and Macedonia Airport was open to air traffic as usual.

    Other subzero temperatures were recorded early in the morning in the border Evros region, with -11C in Orestiada and -7C in Alexandroupolis, while several villages were snowed in. Primary and secondary schools, as well as minority schools, were closed by order of the Evros prefect, while the prefectural authorities also transported 11 kidney sufferers in the area to Alexandroupolis and is hosting them at hotels in the city.

    All levels of schools were also closed in Xanthi prefecture, by decision of the prefect, while gale-force winds of up to 11-beaufort velocity made circulation difficult even for pedestrians, and heavy snowfall throughout the night required snow chains for all vehicles, although circulation along the provincial and national road network was normal, but slow.

    Intense circulation problems have been reported at the Tempi Valley stretch of highway near the Malliakos Gulf, Fthiotis prefecture, where a number of cars were stranded since Monday night when a truck veered off course and got stuck in a ditch. Snow-clearing machines and a strong police contingent were on the spot in an effort to normalise the situation.

    In Achaia prefecture, western Greece, more than 150 villages were snowbound in the area of Kalvryta and Egialeia, while the entire Achaia provincial road network was closed due to heavy snow that was still falling, making the work of the 30 snow-clearing machines trying to open up the roads virtually impossible. Traffic on the Patras-Athens and Patras-Pyrgos stretches of the National Highway was slow but without problems, as crews were constantly spreading salt on the highway.

    In the Peloponnese, heavy snowfall, low temperatures and strong northerly winds made circulation along the national and provincial road network in the Tripolis area difficult, necessitating snow chains, while primary and secondary schools throughout Arkadia prefecture were closed by order of the prefect. There were no serious problems reported in the other prefectures of the Peloponnese, but snow chains were required for circulation.

    Voulgarakis inspects Athens-Lamia national highway

    The new Athens-Lamia national highway was closed to trucks from the 52nd kilometer onwards on Tuesday, while cars were required to use snow chains.

    Public Order minister George Voulgarakis, driving his car himself and accompanied by civil protection general secretary Panayotis Fourlas was since dawn inspecting all the Fire Department base stations along the Athens-Lamia national highway and the various crews deployed along the highway.

    "We must all realise that these are extreme weather conditions for Greece, and all citizens who do not have a pressing reason to be on the road should remain at home," he told reporters, adding that those who were on the road should be using snow chains.

    Voulgarakis explained that many problems were caused by drivers who had not put snow chains on their tyres.

    The minister was due to chair an expanded meeting in Thessaloniki in the afternoon to be briefed on the overall situation in northern Greece and give instructions for confronting any problems that have arisen due to the adverse weather.

    Athens

    It was also snowing throughout Attica prefecture, while in the centre of Athens itself the street leading up to the Lycabettus Theatre was closed as of late Monday night, while schools were also closed in most areas of eastern and northern Attica.

    Traffic was closed from Penteli towards Nea Makri, along Dionyssos Boulevard and Pentelis Boulevard, and on Hymettus Hill from Anastaseous street in Papagou upwards.

    Snow chains were required along the Athens-Thebes old national highway from the Mandra turnoff towards Thebes, in the area of Lake Marathon and Aghios Stephanos onward, and throughout the entire provincial road network from Varibobi to Katsimidi, Aghios Mercourios, Aghia Triada, Ippokrateio, Politia and Malakasa, and the Fylis-Dervenochoria provincial road.


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