Heavy snowfall has blanketed central Athens, with authorities warning residents, particularly in the Greek capital’s northern and eastern suburbs to avoid leaving their homes.
Snow has blanketed the Acropolis and other ancient monuments in Athens. It also stopped most public transport services, while toppled trees caused blackouts in several mountainside suburbs.
Following the unusual weather, officials announced they were postponing all COVID vaccinations across the greater Athens region of Attica for Tuesday as many services were brought to a standstill.
Power and water cuts were also reported and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was meeting with emergency response leaders to assist residents in blacked-out areas and villages cut off by the snow.
Snow is common in Greece’s mountains & in the north of the country, but much rarer in the capital, particularly heavy snow. The cold weather plunged temperature from low 20s Celsius to below freezing.
Temperatures in part of Kozani in northern Greece fell to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, while gale force north winds battered Greece’s islands, with gusts reaching 118 kmph.
The cold snap kept temperatures hovering around freezing in Athens on Tuesday but was expected to lift abruptly with highs of 14 degrees Celsius expected on Thursday.
The snow arrived as Athens and several other parts of Greece remain in lockdown due to a recent rise in coronavirus infections.
Outside parliament, in the city center, orange-coloured snowploughs cleared streets of ice and snow, while presidential guards were given heavy woollen overcoats to brave the cold.