Correspondent in Athens
A cold storm, announced with the name of ‘Elpis’, which means hope, has managed to paralyze much of Greece since early Monday morning, reaching up to 17 degrees below zero in the north of the country. Civil protection had already been warning thanks to the telephone alarm to different areas of the country to which they were approaching. heavy snow, giving instructions to avoid unnecessary travel. There have been many islands that have been snowing for several days even on their beaches, such as the case of Naxos, Andros, Tinos and Mykonos in the Cyclades Islands.
This Monday morning so much snow has fallen in many parts of the Attica region, even in the form of snowstorms, that the ministries and state agencies have agreed to send their homes to their workers from eleven in the morning, where they will possibly stay until Wednesday, given that this Tuesday it is expected to snow even more.
Government spokesman Yannis Ikonomou has not yet made an official statement on tomorrow, Tuesday, telling the media that “any measure that we consider we should take (…) will be evaluated by Civil Protection and the government will make its decisions.” But the meteorologists confirm to the Hellenic media that they expect snow layers of more than fifteen centimeters in Attica, and may exceed 30 centimeters in the next few hours.
On Sunday it had already been announced that all educational centers in the Attica region, in various parts of the Peloponnese (Achaia and Elide) and in other parts of the country such as Etoloacarnanía, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades islands would be closed today and tomorrow. The local authorities have made this decision for two reasons: the inability to comply with health protocolss against Covid in the classrooms, which include having doors and windows open, something impossible to apply with these low temperatures. And for the frosts first thing in the morning, which will generate dangers and problems for teachers and students with their families.
Snowy runways and canceled flights
At Athens’ international airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, work is constantly being done to de-ice planes and remove snow from the runways. It has been announced that so far twenty national flights of the Aegean company have been canceled and all passengers who will fly today are recommended to confirm their flights and go to the airport with more time than before. Because although the metro still works without problems and with it you can get to the airport, many roads are closed or have traffic problems that create long delays.
In the northern part of the Attica region, such as Yeraka, there are power grid problems, since the weight of the snow has made trees fall on the power lines and they are trying to fix the situation urgently.
The Ministry of Health has also announced that vaccination against Covid is canceled throughout Attica and the island of Evia from 3:00 p.m.
And the clearest example of this storm is the vision of the Presidential Guard in the center of Athens (in the Constitution Square and the Presidential Palace), where the soldiers stand guard now covered by their warmest clothes, the traditional thick wool cape that is still used in the Greek mountains.