A hail storm followed by extensive flooding hit Santorini on Thursday as severe weather is once again sweeping through Greece.
Videos and photos uploaded on social media show a thick layer of hail on the streets of the island.
In villages such as Messaria, the narrow alleys have been turned into rivers, while the situation is also difficult in areas close to the Santorini airport.
Hail storm in Santorini closes schools
The local authority shut down schools on the island for the day. Municipal vehicles have taken to the streets valiantly trying to remove the hail, in order to keep the traffic moving.
According to reports, the temperature was very low by Santorini standards. In the early hours of Thursday, it was barely above freezing (0 degrees Celsius).
“Climate change gives us images and situations unprecedented for our islands. Climate change has come to stay and we must all adapt policies, practices and habits to this reality,” said George Chatzimarkos governor of the South Aegean.
Santorini and Cyclades also being hit by gale-force winds
Ships in the port of Piraeus bound for the islands of the Cyclades remained docked on Thursday due to strong winds reaching up to 9 on the Beaufort scale.
The ferry routes from the port of Rafina to the Cyclades islands and the routes from the port of Lavrio to Kea and Kythnos were also canceled.
Passengers planning to travel should contact local port authorities or their travel agents before setting off.
Snowstorm hits Santorini and the Cyclades in January
The Greek islands were also covered in snow in late January during a rare weather event.
Locals said that the last time this amount of snow had fallen on the Cyclades was decades ago.
Syros, Naxos, Tinos, Andros, Mykonos, Santorini, and the other islands of the Cyclades were covered in a white veil of snow as the storm “Elpis” hit Greece, including the mainland.
The heavy snowfall has caused many problems in the islands that lack the infrastructure to cope with such weather events.
“Elpis” also hit Athens hard. Thousands of drivers were trapped on the Attiki Odos for hours without food and water due to the snowstorm.
Six regions of Greece, including Attica, Viotia, Evia, the Cycladic and Sporades archipelagos and Crete were under obligatory holiday for two days, with everyone excused from work for that period of time.
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