Snow blankets Athens, Greek islands and Turkey's Istanbul

  • The ancient Acropolis hill is covered with snow in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow.

    The ancient Acropolis hill is covered with snow in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow. Associated Press

  • People walk on the snow-covered Syntagma square during snowstorm in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow.

    People walk on the snow-covered Syntagma square during snowstorm in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow. Associated Press

  • A woman watch the ancient temple of Zeus covered with snow during a snowfall, in Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    A woman watch the ancient temple of Zeus covered with snow during a snowfall, in Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • Tourist boats docked in the Golden Horn with Suleymaniye Mosque in the background at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    Tourist boats docked in the Golden Horn with Suleymaniye Mosque in the background at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • Vehicles drive as a man cross a street during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    Vehicles drive as a man cross a street during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • People walk in front of the snow-covered Hadrian's Arch during a snowfall in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow.

    People walk in front of the snow-covered Hadrian's Arch during a snowfall in Athens, Greece, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Heavy snowfall has disrupted air traffic in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while several Aegean islands and much of Turkey are blanketed by snow. Associated Press

  • The city of Athens with the Parthenon temple atop the ancient Acropolis hill is covered with snow during a snowfall, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    The city of Athens with the Parthenon temple atop the ancient Acropolis hill is covered with snow during a snowfall, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • A member of the Greek Presidential guard stands at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Greek parliament during a snowfall on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

    A member of the Greek Presidential guard stands at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Greek parliament during a snowfall on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. AP Photo/Michael Varaklas) Associated Press

  • Backdropped by the historical Suleymaniye mosque, a man feeds seagulls in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    Backdropped by the historical Suleymaniye mosque, a man feeds seagulls in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • A snow plow vehicle removes snow from a street in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    A snow plow vehicle removes snow from a street in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • People walk in the middle of the street during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    People walk in the middle of the street during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • Cars drive on a high way during a snowfall, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    Cars drive on a high way during a snowfall, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • A woman wearing a hat walks during a snowfall, in central Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A severe weather front has hit Greece, with sub-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands.

    A woman wearing a hat walks during a snowfall, in central Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A severe weather front has hit Greece, with sub-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands. Associated Press

  • People walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    People walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • A man shovels a pavement during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    A man shovels a pavement during snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens ,on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • A woman with an umbrella walks during a snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    A woman with an umbrella walks during a snowfall in Agios Steganos, north of Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • People play with the snow during a snowfall, in central Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A severe weather front has hit Greece, with sub-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands.

    People play with the snow during a snowfall, in central Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. A severe weather front has hit Greece, with sub-freezing temperatures and snowfall in many parts of the country, including the capital Athens and many Aegean islands. Associated Press

  • The city of Athens with the Lycabettus hill is covered with snow during a snowfall, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains.

    The city of Athens with the Lycabettus hill is covered with snow during a snowfall, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. Associated Press

  • A man runs as other walk in front of the Acropolis hill during a snowfall, in Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

    A man runs as other walk in front of the Acropolis hill during a snowfall, in Athens, on Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. The wave of bad weather hitting Greece is forecast to continue through Tuesday, and has seen snow falling even on some islands. Authorities have warned the public to avoid all but essential outdoor movement, and several major roads and highways are passable only with snow chains. AP Photo/Michael Varaklas) Associated Press

  • People walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    People walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • A view of snow-covered Golden Horn area at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    A view of snow-covered Golden Horn area at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • Birds sit in the snow over Golden Horn at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    Birds sit in the snow over Golden Horn at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

  • Backdropped by the historical Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque, people walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia.

    Backdropped by the historical Sultan Ahmed or Blue Mosque, people walk in the snow at Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022. Snow blanketed most of Turkey's largest city Monday. Flurries are forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul, a metropolis of some 16 million spanning two continents and bridging Europe to Asia. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/24/2022 3:12 PM

ATHENS, Greece -- A severe snowstorm disrupted road and air traffic Monday in the Greek capital of Athens and in neighboring Turkey's largest city of Istanbul, while snow blanketed most of Turkey and Greece, including several Aegean islands.

The Greek government declared a holiday Tuesday in the greater Athens area, parts of central Greece and the islands to keep people from leaving home. Key branches of the civil service, as well as food stores, gas stations and pharmacies will stay open.

 

'We ask citizens to avoid leaving their homes. It will be a difficult night,' Climate Change and Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said. 'The height of the snow is unprecedented in some areas.'

The storm, named Elpida, or 'hope,' in Greece, snarled traffic in Athens and put most public transport out of action. Army and fire service teams were deployed late Monday to extract hundreds of motorists trapped for hours in snowed-in cars, taking them to rented hotel rooms. Those who could abandoned their vehicles and walked home in the snow.

Rail transport was also affected, and state ERT TV reported that three people were lightly injured when an engine accidentally crashed into a stuck train with about 200 people on board that it had been sent to extract. The accident occurred near the town of Livadia in central Greece.

Authorities in Turkey's Istanbul, a metropolis of 16 million people, suspended intercity bus services and temporarily blocked travel to the city from Turkey's Thrace region. People stranded on roads abandoned vehicles to walk home or crowded subway and other public transportation. Schools across Turkey are closed for a winter break, but universities halted classes for two days. Public offices and shopping malls closed early.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Flights in and out of Istanbul Airport were suspended until 4 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities worked to clear runways and a road leading to the airport, where the roof of a facility used by Turkish Airlines' cargo department collapsed from the weight of snow. No one was hurt.

Flurries were forecast to continue over the next few days in Istanbul and Greece.

In Greece, schools in many areas were closed. Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said more than 46,000 school classes were being held online.

The snow came down thick and fast throughout the day in central Athens, settling on the marble temples of the ancient Acropolis.

Snow chains were mandatory for cars on many roads, while trucks were banned from the main highway heading north from Athens. Nevertheless, the icy conditions and lack of snow chains on some vehicles left some drivers reported being stuck in their cars for more than five hours on the Greek capital's roads.

Power cuts occurred in parts of Athens and nearby in the evening, knocking out heating systems, as well as on the island of Evia.

Several domestic and international flights to Athens airport were canceled, while subway service to the airport was partially suspended. COVID-19 vaccination centers in the wider Athens region and Evia were closed Monday and would remain closed Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Snow is common in the Greek mountains and in northern Greece but is less frequent in central Athens and on Aegean islands. Last year, a major snowstorm caused severe problems in the capital, knocking out power for days. Thousands of trees collapsed from the weight of the snow and ice.

In neighboring Albania on Monday, all elementary and high schools closed for three days because of cold weather. Authorities advised people to avoid driving as temperatures reached -17 C (about 1 F) in eastern Albania.

___

Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, and Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.