The “medicane” Ianos, a rare, hurricane-like storm in the Mediterranean, has brought gale-force winds and flooding to Western Greece and the Ionian islands, and is slowly making its way to the central and southern parts of the country, as well as Crete.
As the storm has already caused damage in certain regions, the Civil Protection Ministry urged citizens on Crete, as well as Southern and Central Greece, to be especially careful from Friday evening onward, when Ianos is projected to move across the country.
The warnings will remain in effect thoughout the weekend.
The Ionian islands, especially Zakynthos, Lafkada, Kefalonia, and Ithaca, along with Western Greece, have experienced flooding and other severe weather caused by Ianos, which has also brought power outages to many areas.
Lamia and towns in the region of Western Fthiotida are facing heavy rains and floods, even leaving people trapped in their homes or vehicles. According to locals, many homes, businesses, and hotels have been flooded.
In one case, firefighters had to help children evacuate a flooded daycare center .
The extreme weather caused officials to stop traffic on the stretch of highway running through the city Friday afternoon, and local media reports that citizens are still trapped in their cars along that road.
Reportedly, firefighters have received dozens of calls from residents who are trapped in their homes or vehicles. They have already conducted missions throughout the area to free people who have become trapped in their houses or vehicles because of the flooding and torrents of water coursing throughout towns.
Additionally, Greece’s train services between Athens to Thessaloniki were cut on Friday as extreme weather conditions threatened the safety of the route. Portions of the railroad track have already been damaged by the storm.