Heavy snowfall paralyses Greece

Heavy snowfall in Athens
The Parthenon temple is seen atop the Acropolis hill, during heavy snowfall in Athens, Greece, January 24, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

January 24, 2022

ATHENS (Reuters) – A blanket of heavy snow covered Greece on Monday, from the Acropolis hill over Athens to the islands in the south, bringing transport and COVID-19 vaccinations to a halt and forcing schools to close.

Train and bus services in the capital were suspended, and drivers who ventured out found themselves stranded.

“We’ve already been here for three hours,” said Theodoris Petrou, standing by his car. “It didn’t have snow at first, there was only about 2cm on the road, but as time goes by things are getting worse and worse.”

Vaccination facilities in the wider Athens region and on the nearby island of Evia closed, health officials said.

Many schools were shut and students switched to remote learning.

Authorities urged the public to avoid non-essential travel until late on Tuesday.

The Greek meteorological service said the cold snap was likely to persist until Wednesday.

(Reporting by Vassilis Triandafyllou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Kevin Liffey)