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No major damage from storm Carmel

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Despite initial warnings, no major problems were reported due to cyclone Carmel with authorities receiving only a handful of distress calls.

The public was alert, with authorities urging people to take measures by storm-proofing their properties; like Carmel, a low-pressure system hit the island on Saturday night.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Fire Department spokesperson Andreas Kettis said they received a total of six calls across the island.

They included towing a vehicle trapped on a flooded road in Nicosia, three cases where firefighters were called in to open blocked water grids on a public road in Paphos, and a Famagusta home had flooded.

“There were no incidents with serious costs,” said Kettis.

“We are in constant communication with the meteorological department. During the storm, the fire department was on alert, standing by with the maximum available staff, while fire crews were on alert.”

Although the storm did not cause serious damages, and emergency services were not needed, the public was urged to take weather warnings seriously.

“The fire department was not needed as the storm did not build up as expected, but also because people took precautionary measures,” said Kettis.

He said that if the warnings to restrict the movement had not been heeded, there might have been more incidents in which the Fire Department would have intervened.

Civil Defence spokesperson Olivia Michaelidou said that no serious incidents were reported. “However, we were on full alert so that we could respond immediately if any incidents arose.”

Civil Defence had intervened in some areas in Limassol, but mostly on a preventive level, larger problems were avoided thanks to the public following the instructions issued by authorities.

Cyclone Carmel was expected to batter Cyprus from late Saturday through Monday afternoon with heavy rain, powerful winds, thunderstorms, near gale-force winds and high seas.

Carmel, a low-pressure system developed over Rhodes and moved south-eastward to Cyprus, gathering force due to unstable air mass in the atmosphere affecting the region.

The bad weather system has dissipated by noon Monday, making its way to Israel.