Snowstorm halts life in Greece, shuts down Europe's busiest airport in Istanbul

Extreme weather caused major disruption to the Greek captial Athens, and forced the closure of Istanbul airport. It is the second year in a row of unusually heavy snowfall

FP Staff January 25, 2022 13:26:29 IST
Large parts of Greece and Turkey were covered in a blanket of snow Monday. It is an unusual occurrence for the southern Mediterranean countries, but the second time that it has happened in two years. The rare snowstorm — called "Elpida" or "Hope" in Greek — brought the Greek capital Athens to a standstill. AFP
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Large parts of Greece and Turkey were covered in a blanket of snow Monday. It is an unusual occurrence for the southern Mediterranean countries, but the second time that it has happened in two years. The rare snowstorm — called "Elpida" or "Hope" in Greek — brought the Greek capital Athens to a standstill. AFP
The Greek government declared a holiday for parts of the country, including the capital, to keep people from going outside. "We ask citizens to avoid leaving their homes. It will be a difficult night," Climate Change and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said. "The height of the snow is unprecedented in some areas," he added. AFP
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The Greek government declared a holiday for parts of the country, including the capital, to keep people from going outside. "We ask citizens to avoid leaving their homes. It will be a difficult night," Climate Change and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said. "The height of the snow is unprecedented in some areas," he added. AFP
The snow uncharacteristically fell on several Aegean Sea islands, shutting off some mountain villages on Andros, Naxos and Tinos, and covering beaches in Mykonos, in summer a tourist party island. Heavy snow also fell on the island of Evia, which was ravaged by forest fires last summer, causing power outages in several villages as municipal crews battled to keep key roads open. The snow is expected to continue into Tuesday and will be followed by sub-zero temperatures, the civil protection authority said. AFP
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The snow uncharacteristically fell on several Aegean Sea islands, shutting off some mountain villages on Andros, Naxos and Tinos, and covering beaches in Mykonos, in summer a tourist party island. Heavy snow also fell on the island of Evia, which was ravaged by forest fires last summer, causing power outages in several villages as municipal crews battled to keep key roads open. The snow is expected to continue into Tuesday and will be followed by sub-zero temperatures, the civil protection authority said. AFP
A newlywed couple from the US enjoys a snowfall during a photo shooting near the Acropolis in Athens. AFP
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A newlywed couple from the US enjoys a snowfall during a photo shooting near the Acropolis in Athens. AFP
The snowfall in Greece was a reminder of the snowstorm in February last year, which left four people dead across Greece as well as cutting power for thousands of residents for several days. AFP
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The snowfall in Greece was a reminder of the snowstorm in February last year, which left four people dead across Greece as well as cutting power for thousands of residents for several days. AFP
The situation was no better in Turkey's Istanbul area, with the snow forcing the closure of Europe's busiest airport. The closure of Istanbul Airport -- where the roof of one of the cargo terminals collapsed under heavy snow, causing no injuries -- grounded flights stretching from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and Asia. AFP
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The situation was no better in Turkey's Istanbul area, with the snow forcing the closure of Europe's busiest airport. The closure of Istanbul Airport -- where the roof of one of the cargo terminals collapsed under heavy snow, causing no injuries -- grounded flights stretching from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and Asia. AFP
The snowfall also became a major headache for the 16 million residents of Turkey's largest city, where cars ploughed into each other skidding down steep, sleet-covered streets and highways turned into parking lots. The Istanbul governor's office warned drivers they would not be able to enter the city from Thrace -- a region stretching across the European part of Turkey to its western border with Bulgaria and Greece. AFP
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The snowfall also became a major headache for the 16 million residents of Turkey's largest city, where cars ploughed into each other skidding down steep, sleet-covered streets and highways turned into parking lots. The Istanbul governor's office warned drivers they would not be able to enter the city from Thrace -- a region stretching across the European part of Turkey to its western border with Bulgaria and Greece. AFP
Schools across Turkey are closed for a winter break, but universities halted classes for two days. Public offices and shopping malls closed early. AFP
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Schools across Turkey are closed for a winter break, but universities halted classes for two days. Public offices and shopping malls closed early. AFP