NEWS

Freak weather wreaking havoc in many parts of Greece

TAGS: Weather

Rain on Friday morning resulted in traffic jams on many key roads in and around Athens, as a freak weather system kept schools closed in many parts of the country and had authorities on alert for flooding and wind damage.

In the capital motorists were backed up in traffic jams on many parts of Kifissias Avenue, Alexandras, Vassilissis Sofias, Pireos and main streets in the city center, as well as on the Attiki Odos ring road and near exits to the national highway in the north and west.

The rain comes on top of three days of gale-force winds that knocked out power lines in several Attica neighborhoods and other parts of the country on Thursday, felled trees, tore the roof off a school in western Athens and prompted hundreds of calls to the fire service for the removal of debris.

Ferries had been banned from sailing on Thursday, but service returned to normal later at night and on Friday morning as the winds started to abate.

That weather system had been dubbed Xenophon by experts and is said to be on its way out, though only to be replaced by a Mediterranean storm with tropical characteristics, or Medicane, that has been named Zorba.

Fears of the damage Zorba may wreak promoted authorities to call a school holiday on Friday all over Attica, on many islands of the Ionian and Aegean, and in the Peloponnese, among other areas where the storm is seen passing over the next 48 hours.

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