Municipalities need to do more to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s flooding in Nicosia, Nicos Longinos, spokesman for the fire brigade, told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.
He stressed that though staff from the municipality helped to clean drains during the hailstorm at impacted parts of the capital, they should be better prepared before the autumn rains actually start in earnest, he said.
Longinos also called on the public to help avert blockages, saying that “one reason for the clogging is that people throw rubbish everywhere.”
After months without rain, much of Sunday’s rainwater ended up in basements and houses and flooded roads, affecting traffic and trapping some people in their cars
The fire department and police responded to 87 calls in the Nicosia area on Sunday after the storm hit in the afternoon, in two cases removing cars from roads and in 85 pumping water out of flooded basements and houses.
Apart from pumping water, the fire brigade and police also attempted to remove the debris from drains.
Engomi, Archangelos and Makedonitissa were particularly affected, but also Ayios Andreas, Ayios Dhometios and Anthoupolis.
After the waters subsided, there was some damage to houses and basements though lives were not in danger at any point, Longinos said. Due to the heavy rains and hail in Nicosia, some roads were temporarily closed and police called on people not to use them.
Some power cuts in the Engomi and Strovolos areas due to lightning were reported.
Areas of Polis and Kato Pyrgos in Paphos also remained without electricity, and according to fire department spokesman Longinos the force also had to drain water in Polis on two occasions. More rainy weather is expected.