Greece is being battered by Medicane “Zorbas”, a Mediterranean cyclone, with gale force winds hammering many areas of the county. Greece’s civil service protection is on high alert, as both the cyclone and wildfires (in Kefalonia) have forced authorities to evacuate areas.
The phenomenon is currently passing through the Southern Peloponnese and affecting the region of Messinia and is expected to hit the wider Attica region with full force later on in the day. Huge waves are crashing on the port of the town of Messinia, while winds are estimated to reach up to 10 Beaufort. Many areas have suffered power failures, while boats have been pulled onto the land. Rocks have fallen onto the streets with Methoni’s coastal road suffering the most damage.
According to the latest analysis of the meteorological service of the National Observatory of Athens (NEA), the impact of the Mediterranean cyclone compared to yesterday’s initial forecasts is milder, both in terms of wind speeds and the waves.
The high winds, up to 100km, forced ferries to remain in port Thursday and Friday, severing Greek islands’ connection to the mainland. The strong winds toppled trees onto power lines in the northern suburbs of Athens, with the fire department saying it received more than 500 calls to remove debris.
Authorities in the Saronic municipality near Athens, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos and the Aegean islands of Tinos, Andros and Mykonos ordered schools to remain shut. Schools in greater Athens were also closed Friday.
Greece’s civil protection services went on alert Thursday as the country braced for the threat of the cyclone, forest fires prompted evacuations on an island and an earthquake rattled the south of the country.