A rare Mediterranean cyclone made landfall in the southern part of Greece on Saturday, bringing gale force winds and storms in Peloponnese peninsula and Attica region before heading to the northeast part of the country.
“A rare phenomenon is developing in Greece — a Mediterranean cyclone which has extreme rainfalls, downpours, and local thunderstorms, along with the possibility of hail storms and high winds up to 12 Beaufort. The automated weather stations recorded wind speeds up to 120 to 130 kilometers per hour,” meteorologist Ioannis Kallianos told Xinhua.
The Peloponnese peninsula was the area that was hit the most, with severe winds, flash floods and high waves smashing the seaside towns of Methoni, Finikounta, Pylos, and Kalamata. In the central part, dozens of roads were closed after being flooded with rain, while many houses were evacuated in the city of Argos as the river overflowed.
“According to the latest projections, the Mediterranean cyclone will move from the southern part of the country to the north; it will cross the Greek capital Athens and then will head to the northern part of the country, to the Aegean Sea,” Kallianos added.
Civil protection authorities were in high alert in Attica, fearing widespread flooding in the recently fire-stricken area of Mati and in the seaside town of Mandra.
They urged citizens to be vigilant for extreme weather phenomena and avoid unnecessary travels.
Ships were tied at docks in the ports of Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrio due to strong winds.
The Medicane, as it is called, which will cross northern Greece and the Aegean Sea, is expected to weaken in northwest Turkey by Monday.