Heavy snow has been falling in Attica and the Greek capital Athens since the morning as the second wave of snow and cold snap weather front ELPIS set in. The public transport network has almost collapsed, major roads have been closed to traffic or endlessly jammed, motorists are trapped in their cars even in central Athens.
Video: Motorists trapped on Mesogeion Ave in central Athens for almost 2 hours. No official explanation as to why…
First reports of power outages in North-East Athens are coming in.
- Part of the Athens-Lamia highway has been shut down.
- Flights are being cancelled at Athens International Airport.
Over 100 lines of public transport means have been set out of operations, state broadcaster ERT reported at 2 p.m. an hour later, it reported that blue buses and trolley buses will be withdrawn from traffic as of late afternoon.
Video: Snow in Agia Paraskevi, north Athens
For one more time on Monday morning, the Civil Protection sent a <112> emergency message alert to residents of Athens to avoid all non-essential movement due to “very intense snowfall in the regions in the coming hours.”
Video: Snow on Acropolis
State services and the regional government reassure that they do all possible to keep the roads open, however, the collapse seems inevitable even thought the state mechanism has been reiterating in last few days that it was on alert and ready to pick up the fight with the snow weather.
Video: seaside road Oropos, east Attica
As the public transport is on the brink of collapse, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou did not rule out to declare tomorrow, Tuesday a “bank holiday” due to the extreme weather phenomena.
- Major Katehaki Avenue has been closed to traffic, lots of problems for motorists in Mesogion Ave in central Athens and Vouliagmenis Avenue in south Athens.
- The Tram does not make to Syntagma Square, stops at Vouliagmenis halt.
- The Metro does not make it to the Athens international airport, passengers have to change to Proastiakos
- Problems for many blue buses and trolley buses.
Mid-day Monday the government sent civil servants home as soon it will be possible to move around in the Greek capital and the suburbs only by foot.
It looks as if motorists may need snow chains also in central Athens.
Attica’s regional governor told media that over 4,000 tons of salt have been used for the roads, however, only for main roads.
Many people, including state ERT TV, wonder what would have happened if the state mechanism wasn’t ready… Regional governor Giorgos Patoulis indirectly blamed the famous Greek “bureaucracy” as in charge of roads are the regional government or the municipalities.
Schools will remain closed also on Tuesday, Jan 25, where authorities will decide in the afternoon for Wednesday.
Appointments for vaccination against Covid-19 are been reportedly suspended as of 3 p.m. today and tomorrow in Attica and Evia and citizens can book new appointments at emvolio.gov.gr.
According to the National Metereological Service (EMY), the main characteristics of the second wave of snow weather ELPIS will be the very low temperatures, heavy snowfall, even in lowland areas of northern and eastern Greece as well as in the Aegean islands, Northern winds to blow with intensity 8-9 Beaufort.
sources: ERT TV Live, cnngreece, newsit, other Greek media, social media
PLEASE, think of the homeless and the strays who need extra calories to cope with the cold.
The Acropolis remains beautiful, even in a snow storm.