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Storm Philippos bashes Cyprus

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A low-pressure weather system named Philippos is battering the island with strong winds, cooler temperatures, thunderstorms and hailstone showers.

The fire department said they had responded to 15 calls for help on Friday, mostly to remove uprooted trees and fallen branches from cars and electrical wires. Luckily, there were injuries.

The Met Office had issued a warning for near-gale force winds until Friday morning.

Wintery conditions triggered by ‘Philippos’ has brought now to the Troodos mountains.

Low-level snowfall has also meant many roads in the mountains are open only to vehicles with four-wheel drive or snow chains, police said.

In the Nicosia district, the affected roads are Farmakas-Odou, Kalo Chorio-Farmakas, Palechori-Agros, Lagoudera-Saranti, Lagoudera-Polystipos, Polystipos-Alona, Platanistasa bridge, Platanistas-Fterikoudi and Askas-Palechori.

Also affected are the roads of Kakopetria-Karvounas, Kakopetria-Pinewood, Pedoulas-Prodromos, Pedoulas-Kykkos and the Pedoulas-Troodos-Platres roads in the Morphou area.

All roads leading to Troodos in the Limassol district are also closed to vehicles without chains or four-wheel drive.

Police urged all motorists to drive slowly and keep a safe distance from other vehicles, as roads are slippery.

Rain and thunderstorms are also forecast as temperatures drop below the average for the season.

“The mountains are in for freezing weather and snowfall as temperatures are expected to drop well below the average high of 8°C, dropping to a maximum of -4°C on Friday,” said Eric Kitas of KitasWeather.

Night temperatures on the Troodos mountains are expected to drop to -10°C.

Temperatures will rise to 10°C inland and 12°C on the coast.

The cold snap gripping the island will keep the island shivering under freezing temperatures over the weekend, with more rain and snow in the mountains.

The weather will improve on Monday, but temperatures will remain under the usual 18°C inland and 8°C for the mountains until the end of next week.

Philippos is the last cold weather system expected to affect the island, as warmer weather will usher towards the month’s end.

The depth of snow at Troodos square is around 30 cm.