Cold snap in Greece leaves two dead

Two men have died in Greece during a cold snap that has disrupted transport and caused power cuts in many parts of the mainland as well as Aegean Sea islands for a second day, authorities said.

A 56-year-old shepherd died of a heart attack while feeding his flock on Crete island, Greek national broadcaster ERT reported on Tuesday.

On Evia island, an 80-year-old man was found dead at his house in a remote village, after calling for aid. He was suffering from respiratory problems, local MEGA TV reported.

In both cases, rescue teams struggled to reach the sites after heavy snowfall cut off roads, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Fire Service has intervened to transfer to safety dozens of citizens stranded in cars across the country, according to an e-mailed press statement.

Since the weekend, Greece has been experiencing the strongest cold front in 12 years which is expected to last till Wednesday, according to Greek meteorologists.

Many regions have been blanketed with snow. Domestic flights have been cancelled, train services disrupted and ships at Piraeus and other ports across the country docked due to gale-force winds.

Roads in mountainous areas as well as at lower altitudes have been closed, while power cuts have been reported mainly in western and central Greece.

Even in the centre of Athens, the Acropolis hill and many other monuments and main avenues have been covered in snow on Tuesday. Traffic was limited.

“All unnecessary movements should be avoided. The state mechanism will do whatever possible to keep the roads open, and certainly one of our big concerns is the power supply as we are aware that there are problems. We must all show patience to deal with a phenomenon which is indeed unprecedented,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ERT after a meeting at the Civil Protection headquarters on Tuesday.

Due to the intense weather phenomenon, vaccinations against Covid-19 were cancelled in Attica region for Tuesday.