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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsStorm Ballos Batters Athens with Power Outages, Flooded Streets

Storm Ballos Batters Athens with Power Outages, Flooded Streets

Storm Ballos Athens
Many streets in Athens were flooded as heavy rain fell in the Greek capital on Thursday. Credit: AMNA

The weather front named Ballos slammed into Athens on Thursday, causing power outages in several parts of the capital and flooding streets.

Torrential rain forced the Greek authorities sent out an emergency alert message warning citizens not to venture outdoors unless absolutely necessary.

So far, the Fire Brigade has received at least 90 calls for water pumping, tree felling and flooding issues in New Philadelphia, Kato Patisia, Peristeri, Moschato and Kifissia.

At New Philadelphia, students had to make a bridge with their desks in order to exit the flooded building.

The famous flea market at Monastiraki in central Athens was flooded with water.

Similar problems are occurring in Thessaloniki, where in the course of a few hours the city received half the amount of rain that it normally does in the whole month of September.

Authorities on the island of Evia said several areas ravaged by summer wildfires were being evacuated Thursday following the second severe storm in less than a week.

Several dozen people were moved out of their homes in the north of the island and were making arrangements to stay with friends or in hotel rooms booked by the regional authority.

Northern Evia, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Athens, suffered devastating fires over the summer, leaving the area more vulnerable to flash floods.

Storm Ballos to continue hitting Greece through Friday

On Wednesday, The National Meteorological Service (EMY) issued a Red Alert warning about the extreme weather. It predicted powerful rainfall, thunderstorms which will be locally accompanied by hail, and temperature drops of up to 7 degrees Celsius.

Ballos started affecting Greece on Wednesday night, and it will continue to batter most parts of the country on Thursday and Friday.

It has brought heavy rains and downpours that after hitting the Ionian islands and the west of the country have now spread to mainland Greece.

The severe weather will continue to strike the entirety of Greece again on Friday. The storm will weaken in the northwest on the afternoon. On Saturday, heavy rainfall and storms will affect the east of the country, but the front will gradually weaken.

The Civil Protection Ministry has asked regions and municipalities to coordinate closely and take the measures for which they are responsible. The existing general Civil Protection action plan against flooding, which will be in effect during Ballos, is code-named “Dardanos.”

The name of the new storm originates from the Italian ballo, via Latin, which derives from the Greek verb “ballizo”, “to dance, to jump.” Ballos is a Greek folk island dance with ancient elements, typical of the music of the Aegean Islands.

First snow falls in the north of Greece

Meanwhile, the first snow fell early Thursday in many mountainous areas of Western Macedonia at an altitude over 1,100 meters (3,608 feet).

Snow started falling in the early morning in the town of Nymfeo, with the height of the snow already reaching 15 cm (six inches). Light snow is currently falling on the mountainous pass of Vigla at the ski resort of Florina, while other villages on the mountain of Grammos are already covered with snow.

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