Operation under way to rescue snowbound shepherds on Skopelos

Operation under way to rescue snowbound shepherds on Skopelos

A team of recue workers and soldiers was dispatched from the central Greece town of Volos to the northwestern Aegean island of Skopelos on Thursday to rescue dozens of shepherds who have been trapped by heavy snowfall since Saturday.

The team will be using snow ploughs and pedestrian units to reach the livestock farmers who have been snowed in in the areas of Pyrgos, Raches and Pefkia for over five days, after an army helicopter on Wednesday rescued two people trapped in Pefkia.

A large part of Skopelos has been without power and water since the weekend as snowstorms and strong winds damaged electricity pylons, which also supplied power to water pumps.

The Public Power Corporation dispatched repair teams from Volos on Wednesday, which were able to restore supply to the main town, Hora, but problems still remain on the rest of the island after a truck carrying new electricity poles slid on ice and jackknifed on the road to the village of Glossa.

Temperatures in Skopelos on Thursday rose for the first time since Saturday above the 0-Celsius mark, raising hopes of a thaw, but the thick snow and ice will take some days to melt, authorities said.

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