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    Athens remains trapped by Elpida snowstorm


    January 25, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      Athens, Jan 25 (EFE) - The snowstorm Elpida (Hope) that has hit Greece since the weekend continues to wreak havoc on Tuesday, especially in the capital region of Attica, where there are still drivers trapped in their cars and power outages in some suburbs of the capital, Athens. Government spokesman Yannis Ikonomu told private broadcaster Skai that 1,800 vehicles that had been trapped could be removed from the Athens ring road overnight, but 1,200 were still there this morning, some abandoned but others with people inside. It is estimated that around half a thousand people have been hanging on to their cars for more than 20 hours, waiting for snow plows to finally clear the highway. Army forces, firefighters, and ambulances have been assisting these people with water, blankets and refreshments and have moved some to nearby hotels. Attikí Odos, the private company managing the highway, apologized for the disruption caused and announced a thorough investigation to determine why emergency response systems failed even though it had known for days that such a storm was approaching. Civil Protection Minister Krystos Stylianidis announced last night that schools, banks, public administration and stores will be closed today, Tuesday, with the exception of supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies. Maritime traffic to and from Attica's ports will not operate either, and virtually all domestic and international flights have been cancelled. Some areas of the Attica basin have been without power for almost a day now and although the power company has deployed numerous crews, repairs are proving complicated, not only because trees that have fallen on power poles need to be removed, but also because snow that has settled on the power lines has frozen and in some spots the wires are snapping. According to the National Weather Service, heavy snowfall is expected to begin to subside this afternoon in most parts of the country, although temperatures will be very low today and tomorrow, leading to the problem of heavy frosts. In the capital region, temperatures are expected to be between 0 and 3 degrees Celsius, while in some areas of the north of the country, minimum temperatures may exceed 10 degrees below zero. Authorities have advised citizens to go outside only if necessary.

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