Icy winter blast with snow, rain and gales

Icy winter blast with snow, rain and gales

Weather front Zenovia may have brought a belated white Christmas to many parts of Greece Monday, but it also caused a great deal of hassle for motorists and residents across the mainland and in the northern Peloponnese, as well as the capital.

Bringing heavy snow, persistent rain and low temperatures, Zenovia prompted authorities to close a section of the Athens-Lamia national highway near the Malakasa junction, some 30 kilometers from the capital, Monday afternoon, causing massive traffic jams. Roads on Mount Parnitha had to be cleared by snowplows, while some on Mount Pendeli were closed as a precaution.

Strong winds also caused problems, with ferries remaining moored for a second day on Monday and four people having to be rescued off a boat in the Saronic Gulf. The yacht’s engine failed and its sails were damaged in 9-Beaufort gales near the islet of Agios Andreas. Three of its passengers were rescued by a navy helicopter and the fourth by a passing tanker.

Mount Parnassos in central Greece also saw heavy snowfall Monday, much to the delight of skiers visiting the popular resort there, though motorists had to use snow chains on many mountain roads, especially at higher altitudes, as was the case in other parts of central Greece, such as Karpenisi. In Thiva, meanwhile, at least five villages spent most of Monday without power.

The wintry weather front swept into Greece last week, pushing temperatures down across the country, and is expected to persist through the New Year’s holiday, though with less rain and snow.

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