Temporary Elpida

temporary elpida in athens

El temporary Elpida, Elpis or Esperanza, named after Greece's National Meteorological Service (EMY), have been battering Greece since the weekend of January 22. Wreaking havoc in some parts of the country, including the Greek capital. Heavy snowfall blanketed Athens, from the Acropolis to the south, and brought life in the city to a near standstill.

In this article we tell you what happened about the Elpida storm and the evolution of the storm throughout this week.

Key features

Athens. Temporary Elpida

The storm Elpida (Hope) that has plagued Greece since the weekend paralyzed air and road traffic in the country. It even forced the cancellation of vaccination campaigns against Covid-19. Almost all domestic and international flights were canceled due to heavy snowfall in the Aegean Sea accompanied by the hurricane. The worst problem occurred in the Attica region of the capital, which has been snowing since Monday morning, causing chaos on roads and in central Athens, with many vehicles stuck in the snow because they were not wearing chains. Several suburbs of the capital suffered power cuts when branches and small trees fell on power poles.

Schools in Attica and the rest of the country have been closed since this past Monday, January 24, as heavy snow and frigid temperatures were expected to continue in much of Greece, including Athens. Distance education has not had the desired effect by the Ministry of Education, since the internet in many parts of the country does not have the necessary speed. In addition, in the Attica region and the rest of the country, all Covid-19 vaccination appointments were canceled on Monday and Tuesday, forcing thousands of appointments to be moved to other dates.

Elpida traps thousands of people on the highways of Greece

Thousands of drivers were trapped in the snow. Some for more than five hours, on the highway that surrounded Athens, with traffic barely moving. According to the private company that manages the highway, the snowplows could not give way to the vehicles because two skidding trucks cut off traffic. In addition to the fact that the traffic was intense since dawn. However, the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Defense, Jristos Stilianidis, has promised that responsibility will be lifted due to the poor work of the management company that was supposed to keep the highway open. As the National Meteorological Service (EMY, for its acronym in Greek), had predicted that the Elpida storm would continue to rage for several days, the Government asked companies to allow their employees to telework whenever possible.

Heavy snow and frost will persist in Attica, the nearby island of Opoia and much of central and eastern Greece, including many Aegean islands, where strong winds will also blow. In northern Greece, the snow was forecast to decrease from last Tuesday. However, the temperature drops would persist. The storm was expected to weaken across much of the country starting this past Thursday, according to weather forecasts.

The Elpida storm: no electricity and sudden drops in temperature

temperature drop in Greece

Attica, the capital region of Greece, located in the south of the country, was one of the areas most affected by the storm. Snow has been falling nonstop since Monday morning, and rescue teams are also responding to the storm to rescue people stranded on roads in the area.

In the center of Greece, a rail vehicle rescued 200 stranded passengers from congestion, but at At least 15 people were injured in the process, at least two of them seriously, according to a police statement. On the other hand, branches and trees fell from the power poles. This caused severe power outages in Attica and other areas, where it had been no electricity for almost a day. The situation is even more worrying where the power lines were frozen because they have been frozen and the cables have begun to break.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy snowfall was expected to begin to abate starting Monday across much of the country. Although temperatures have been very low between Monday and Wednesday, bringing severe frost problems. In the capital region, it was planned temperatures between 0 and 3 degrees. While in some areas of the north of the country the minimum reached practically the 10 degrees below zero. Authorities advised citizens to go out only when necessary.

Other affected areas

Temporary Hope in Jerusalem

Although more information has come from Greece, Turkey and the Aegean Sea islands have also been affected by the Elpida storm. Roads to Jerusalem reopened shortly after noon Thursday. The holy city was blanketed by storm Elpida, which has seen heavy snowfall across the region since Wednesday night. Shops were open later than usual, the city has hardly any road transport, and schools and public organizations were closed Thursday in Israel, as well as in the West Bank and Gaza.

After the storm left snowfall, almost all access to the city was blocked by 15 cm of snow. Authorities asked residents to suspend public organizations and schools. In addition, due to this snow in the city after the afternoon of January 26, the transport could not cross the border. At the highest point in the region, the Golan Heights had already fallen heavily the day before. After the snowfall, a ski resort called Mont Hermon was able to open its doors and several roads were closed. It was the first snow of the Elpida season, though there were trains running between Travid and Jerusalem.

In the Aegean Sea, the part of the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Turkey, the storm was accompanied by gale-force winds. In some parts of Istanbul (Turkey), the snow has reached 80-85 cm deep. And in Albania, which borders Greece, all schools had to close for three days because of the cold.

In Istanbul, the Elpida storm left a spectacular landscape, but also a major road collapse: More than 4.500 people were rescued after being trapped in their cars. According to the city's mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, 30 to 50 centimeters of snow had accumulated in the storm, with up to 80 centimeters in some areas. Heavy snowfalls have paralyzed the lives of the 16 million inhabitants of Istanbul.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Elpida storm.

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