Ballos – a strong atmospheric front reached Greece on Wednesday and caused dynamic weather on Thursday. It brought with it heavy rainfall, heavy thunderstorms and hailstorms in Athens and on the islands of Evia and Corfu. The dangerous weather also took its toll in areas damaged by summer fires.
In many regions of Greece, the third or highest degree of meteorological warnings were in place. Due to the Ballos front, meteorologists predicted storms, intense rainfall, hail and rapid cooling down to even 7 degrees Celsius.
Greece. Problems in many regions
By Thursday evening, the fire department had recorded at least 300 calls. The interventions concerned pumping out water, cutting down trees and removing the effects of floods. Rescuers used helicopters to pick up people trapped on roofs from flooded areas on the island of Corfu. The greatest damage was recorded in New Philadelphia, Peristeri, Moschato, and Kifissia. The water also flooded the famous flea market in the center of Athens.
Problems also arose in Thessaloniki, where it fell as much rain in a matter of hours as it had on average during mid-September.
“There is no doubt that we are facing a dangerous weather phenomenon,” said Greek Minister for Civil Defense and Climate Change, Christos Stylianides. He was previously the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
The second such strong phenomenon during the week
Evacuations have been carried out in several areas previously devastated by summer fires, Euboea authorities said. Dozens of people were transported from flooded houses in the north of the island to relatives or to hotels rented by local authorities. Forest fires in the northern part of Euboea, about 130 kilometers north of Athens, made the area more vulnerable to flash floods. It is the second such strong storm on the island in less than a week.
In southern Greece, some roads have been closed. Dozens of cars got stuck in the streets that turned into streams.
Greece. Ballos also brought snow
Meanwhile, the first snowfall occurred in the city of Nymfeo. It started pouring in the early morning, by evening the cover reached 15 centimeters. It was also raining around the Vigla Pass and the villages on Mount Grammos.
Front Ballos will bother Greece also on Friday and Saturday. Over the weekend, heavy rainfall and storms are expected to move east of the country, but the front will gradually wane.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ALEXANDROS VLACHOS