*

upload_article_image

Severe weather brings snow to Athens, Greek islands

A severe weather front has hit Greece, with below-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands.

Authorities have warned the public to limit their movements outdoors to the essential on Monday and Tuesday, while schools shifted to online classes only. Coronavirus vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in one children’s hospital in Athens were rescheduled for later in the week in a different location.

The snow was coming down thick and fast in central Athens, settling on the marble columns of the ancient Acropolis. Authorities sent out emergency alerts to cell phones in the wider Athens area on Monday morning warning of severe snowfall over the next few hours and calling on people to avoid any unnecessary movement. Snow chains were mandatory for cars in parts of the northern fringes of the capital.

A man walks during a snowfall north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

Snow is common in the Greek mountains and in the northern part of the country, but is more infrequent in central Athens and on Aegean islands. Last year, the Greek capital was hit by a major snowstorm that caused severe problems, knocking out power for days in certain neighborhoods and making all streets impassable without snow chains. Thousands of trees buckled and fell from the weight of the snow.

People walk in the middle of the street during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A man shovels a pavement during a snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A snow plow vehicle removes snow from a street in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A man shovels a pavement during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

People walk during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)

A woman with an umbrella walks during a snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. (AP PhotoThanassis Stavrakis)