NEWS

Snowstorm drifts east, hitting Crete and Dodecanese islands

Snowstorm drifts east, hitting Crete and Dodecanese islands

Authorities on Crete and the southeastern Aegean islands were bracing for heavy snowfall on Tuesday after seeing the havoc caused in the Greek capital by the passage of the storm dubbed Elpis.

In the Cretan regions of Hania, Iraklio, Rethymno and Lasithi, crews were out in force keeping streets clear, though traffic has already been stopped on dozens of roads to prevent motorists from becoming snowbound, as was the case for thousands in Athens on Monday.

Unaccustomed to heavy winter conditions, the islands of the Dodecanese also woke up to a thick blanket of snow on Tuesday morning, after Elpis made its first appearance in the eastern Aegean on Monday afternoon.

The snow was particularly heavy on Rhodes, with police having to prevent locals from venturing into the mountains for the complete winter experience.

The Aegean islands are among seven regions where emergency measures went into force on Tuesday morning, including the shutdown of all – except essential – public services, schools, businesses and stores. Supermarkets are open but will be closing early, at 6 p.m.

Authorities, meanwhile, are advising residents and visitors to limit outings to the essentials.