A storm with hundreds of lightning strikes hit Athens in the early hours of Wednesday as the Elias weather system continued to affect several parts of Greece.
Residents in Athens and several other regions of Greece received text messages through the 112 European Emergency Number on Tuesday, warning them of severe thunderstorms and hailstorms. Authorities advised residents to “avoid moving outside unnecessarily.”
— KaterinaF (@FKatfassea) September 27, 2023
Schools closed, roads flooded following storm in Athens
Some schools in Athens and the Attica region will remain closed on Wednesday, while traffic in certain parts of the Greek capital has come to a standstill due to flooded roads.
People on social media report that in some areas of Athens, there is a blackout.
Κακοκαιρία Elias: Πριν καμιά ώρα οι αστραπές και οι κεραυνοί έκαναν πάρτυ στα νότια! Δεν έχει πάνω από εικοσάλεπτο που ξεκίνησε και η βροχή.
Εύχομαι να έχουμε όλοι ένα σχετικά ήρεμο βράδυ χωρίς απρόοπτα… #ΚακοκαιριαΕlias #Αττικη pic.twitter.com/xeoff8GdYw
— Chrissa Chronopoulou (Χρύσα Χρονοπούλου) (@Chrissa_Chr) September 27, 2023
The Elias weather system affects other parts of Greece, as meteorologists warn that on Wednesday and Thursday, the weather phenomena will intensify.
The new weather front follows the deadly floods that followed Storm Daniel which hit Thessaly earlier in September. At least 17 people are known to have died from the floods while the agricultural production of the region was severely damaged.
Storm warnings issued for other parts of Greece beyond Athens
Warnings to limit outdoor movement and follow directions of authorities were sent to residents of Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Zakynthos; Central Greece regions of Evrytania, Fthiotida, Fokida, Viotia and Magnissia; Northern Evia; areas of the Peloponnese; and residents of the Karditsa region in Thessaly.
All school units in the municipality of Xylokastro remained closed on Tuesday by order of the town’s mayor.
Heavy rain and hail created problems in the regional network of Epirus, as well as in the central roads of Trikala.
According to meteo.gr/National Observatory of Athens, intense phenomena were expected on Tuesday in the Ionian Sea, western and central areas of the country, the Peloponnese, and Thessaly and Epirus.
The phenomena in some areas will be accompanied by hail, mainly in Western Greece and the Central Ionian islands.
The areas that will receive the highest amounts of rain on Tuesday were located in the prefectures of Kefalonia, Lefkada, Aitoloakarnania, Evrytania, Fokida, Fthiotida, Ilia, Achaia, and Corinthia. Karditsa and Trikala will also be impacted beginning in the late afternoon.
On Wednesday, the phenomena will worsen further and mostly affect the central, eastern, and southern parts of the country.
Their intensity is forecast to be greatest in eastern and southern Thessaly, in Evia, the Sporades islands, central and eastern parts, and the Peloponnese. The central and northern parts are expected to receive the most rain.
The regions that will be affected include the prefecture of Attica and the city of Athens. Rains and storms will also forecast on several Aegean islands and Crete, especially in the prefecture of Chania.
Meanwhile, the Operations Centre of the Fire Brigade has received 10,402 calls between September 5th and up until 7 am on Tuesday morning. In addition, it has responded to 3,747 calls to pump water from flooded premises, while 3,576 people have been transported to safe locations.
This is a developing story