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Orange weather warning to stay in place until Wednesday morning

An orange weather alert will remain in effect until Wednesday morning, the meteorological service announced on Tuesday as officials worked throughout the day to clear damage caused by island wide storms and torrential rain in the previous 24 hours.

Rain in some areas was expected to exceed 70 millimetres in a six hour period, the service said. In Troodos, snow or sleet is expected to fall on Tuesday night.

Police also mobilised following the increase of the weather alert from yellow to orange, announcing that they would be on call (on 1460) throughout the night as the rain continued.

In the early hours of Tuesday a thunderstorm rocked Nicosia causing flooding in the old town, Kaimakli, Aglandjia, Strovolos, Latsia and Dali.

“The storm got stronger as it moved east,” meteorologist Cleanthis Nicolaides said, explaining that it first struck Paphos, then moved over the mountains to Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca.

The low pressure system is expected to stay around until late Thursday or even early Friday, but it is not yet clear if a warning will be needed for more days.

The fire service had a busy night answering calls for help from people trapped in cars and people whose houses were flooded. They were also towing vehicles from flooded roads.

There were more than 200 calls for help during Monday night, fire services spokesman Andreas Kettis said.

Outraged residents in Aglandjia told CyBC that while work was being done to solve problems every time it rains they only made things worse. Cars were damaged in the storm, CyBC reported in Aglandjia as many underground car parks flooded during the storm.

“We live with this fear. When a storm comes we will have to deal with this unacceptable situation,” one resident of the area said.

The Nicosia municipality announced that more than 70 workers spent the day going around the city on foot to tackle problems in the worst hit areas.

According to their announcement, the Melina Mercouri Hall and Famagusta Gate flooded and suffered serious damage.

The Kateva river overflowed, creating problems in areas west of the river. In addition, drains were blocked which meant a number of areas were flooded, including the paved streets in Phaneromeni and Onasagorou.

The municipality expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the delay in the upgrading of the Nicosia main pipeline and the completion of the works on Famagusta avenue by the competent authorities.

“If these projects were implemented, as the city has repeatedly called for, the damage would be much less,” an announcement said.

The Nicosia municipal workers were not the only ones out and about. Eleven fire crews responded to calls in Nicosia.

Several trees were uprooted in both the Nicosia and Limassol district resulting in power cuts, some of them lasting for hours. As fire service spokesman Andreas Kettis did before her, spokeswoman of the electricity authority Christina Papadopoulou called on residents to be patient while the employees of the authority moved around fixing various faults.

Water on the road closed Larnaca and Famagusta avenues in Nicosia while the exit of the Limassol to Nicosia motorway leading to the former Orphanides supermarket was also closed as water has accumulated.

In the Limassol district, the roads from Palodeia to Agros, Ayia Paraskevi to Agros and Laneia to Trimiklini became dangerous because of landslides.

Trees which were uprooted because of strong winds and fell down causing power cuts in Trachoni, Parekklisia and Amathundas. A cemetery in Prekklisia was damaged by a whirlwind.

“In Parekklisia, from a tree which fell down cables were cut and the incident was handled in cooperation with the electricity authority,” the fire spokesman said.

Another tree fell at the Dipotamos bridge of the Nicosia to Limassol motorway. In this case the emergency rescue unit responded.

Almost identical reports of storm damage came from the north on Tuesday, especially in the Nicosia district.

According to the website of Yeni Duzen, an industrial area in Nicosia was badly flooded, as were shops.

In front of the Ataturk sports centre on a central avenue, a car was overturned due to strong winds, while power was cut in many areas.

The site published several photos of the damage. It also wrote that damage was sustained by houses and shops in Kythrea village where a wall collapsed killing goats and hens that the owner had in his yard.

Turkish Cypriot police announced in the morning that they had closed a major highway towards the main hospital due to flooding. There was also a landslide on the Kyrenia-Kythera road stretching for 500 metres and the road was closed for traffic.

Damage also occurred in Rizokarpasso where homes were flooded. Emergency services said thy received 39 calls for assistance.

On Thursday and Friday, it will be slightly colder, with temperatures lower than normal for early December.

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