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Cyprus grapples with snow, rain, freeze

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A cold front called Elpis will continue to affect the island until Thursday, bringing more snow, much to the delight of excursionists, but also prolonged thunderstorms.

Since Saturday, the low-pressure weather system bringing colder temperatures has created heavy snowfall dressing the mountains in white, reaching lower laying villages in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos.

However, thunderstorms inland have left their scars as areas were left without electricity, while authorities were called to intervene in a couple of life-threatening situations.

On Sunday, Paphos Police were called to rescue drivers after they tried to cross the Xeros river in the Paphos district, which had developed a strong flow after recent heavy rainfall.

A police helicopter had to rescue two people trapped in their vehicle in the water trying to cross the river.

Authorities had earlier warned people not to try and cross the river with their vehicles.

In another incident, a small vehicle was overturned by strong winds in Limassol, with the driver being slightly injured.

Blackouts occurred in some villages in the Paphos district on Saturday night and some Nicosia and Limassol villages on Sunday morning.

The Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) said the power supply was cut off as falling trees and branches had become entangled in the overhead cables, causing short circuits.

The fire department said it had to intervene on 17 occasions island-wide, with 14 of them involving areas of the capital and Limassol, with most incidents involving falling trees.

Heavy rainfall led to the first dam in the Paphos district to overflow.

The Argaka dam, with a capacity of 990,000 cubic metres of water, overflew on Sunday, with the smaller dam of Pomos set to overflow on Monday.

Elpis will continue to affect the region until Wednesday night.

Temperatures on Monday will reach a maximum of 10°C degrees inland, 12°C on the coasts and 0°C on the highest mountains.

Night temperatures will drop to 1°C inland, around 6°C on the coast and -7°C in the highest mountains.

Tuesday will bring about more rain and snow.

Heavy thunderstorms will hit some areas.

Temperatures will be slightly higher than Monday’s, while the weather will start to improve on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday will be cloudy with local thunderstorms and snowfall in the mountains.

Temperatures are expected to rise on Wednesday and Thursday but will remain below the average 15°C for the season.

The snow at the Troodos square on Monday was reported to be 42 cm high.

According to the police, the following roads are open only for vehicles equipped with anti-skid chains and four-wheel drive:

Prodromos – Troodos

Platres – Troodos

Karvounas – Troodos

Pedoulas – Prodromos

Pedulas – Pinewood – Kakopetria

Kakopetria – Karvounas

Kakopetria – Spilia – Kannavia

Prodromos – Platres

On Sunday morning, all roads leading to Troodos had been closed by authorities until mid-day.

The cold front Elpis moved over Cyprus from Greece, ushering unusually low temperatures, with snow covering many Greek islands, including Mykonos.