The Civil Protection Secretariat of Greece’s Ionian Islands issued a warning on Thursday urging the restriction of people’s movement on the island of Zakynthos beginning on Thursday evening and lasting until late night on Friday, in view of “Medicane” Ianos’ imminent landfall.
Kefalonia, Ithaca and Zakynthos are expected to be hit by the Medicane, which is still gathering power, late on Thursday, with weather forecasts predicting winds reaching hurricane-force Category 1 strength and destructive winds which could exceed 200 km/h (124 miles per hour).
The enormous amounts of rainfall expected as a result of the Medicane could lead to dangerous flash flooding as well, and residents are advised to take the appropriate precautions.
Many villages in Zakynthos and Kefalonia are facing small-scale problems with electricity power already, but those were reportedly repaired, while at Ithaca a power line caught fire but was repaired shortly afterward.
Schools on all three islands will not open on Friday, while ferry routes to and from Kyllini-Zakynthos and Kyllini-Kefalonia will be suspended.
Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias also announced that Western Greece is now in a state of special civil protection and as an added safety measure, heavy trucks, trailer trucks and buses will be barred from using the national highway in western Greece until the storm has passed.
Hardalias said that the above traffic restrictions will be in effect from 8 PM on Thursday to the same time on Friday. Olympia Odos will remain open until the situation is reassessed at midday on Friday.
The Ionian Islands and the prefectures of Achaia, Ilia and Messinia in the Peloponnese and Etoloakarnania in western Greece are on high alert for the storm, which is expected to arrive in Attica on Friday.