Regional authorities in western and southern parts of Greece had fully mobilized by their emergency services on Thursday evening, in anticipation of the landfall of a rare Mediterranean cyclone, dubbed Ianos.
The meteorological phenomenon, which is considered unprecedented in Greece, reached the west coast of the country on Thursday.
Experts say Ianos presents the characteristics of a Mediterranean cyclone and had caused intense concern to authorities even before its appearance. According to the National Observatory, Ianos will affect the central Ionian Sea and the northwestern Peloponnese on Friday morning. Meteorologists cannot predict its trajectory with certainty, but it is likely to move south.
In short, the main part of the cyclone will cover the Ionian Sea, the Peloponnese and central Greece, while the impact will be milder on the eastern mainland, including Attica, where it will probably be felt on Friday afternoon. It will be accompanied by heavy rain, sporadic thunderstorms and blustery winds, which in some cases will reach up to 10 Beaufort.
In view of these heightened concerns, the islands of Cephalonia, Ithaca and Zakynthos in particular, as well as the regional units of Aitoloakarnania, Ilia, Achaia, Arcadia and Messinia in the Peloponnese were placed on high alert on Thursday.
What’s more, as of Thursday until midnight on Friday, authorities have strongly urged the public in Cephalonia and Ithaca not to travel. In a statement, the Cephalonia police department announced “the temporary implementation of the measure banning the movement of all vehicles on provincial roads.”
Residents of Cephalonia also received a message from the 112 emergency number warning of extreme weather events in the Ionian islands and telling them to avoid basements, semi-basements and areas prone to flooding.
They were also urged to secure items that may be carried away by the wind and to follow the media for news updates.