Heavy rain and snowfall across the island throughout the day caused a range of problems on Tuesday including power outages, school closures and an accident in Platres involving a bus with 25 tourists on board that had to be rescued by authorities.
The same weather pattern with very strong westerly winds and cold temperatures is set to persist on Wednesday. It is expected to gradually get warmer on Thursday and over the weekend.
Snow on Troodos’ Olympus peak has reached 60cm with 40cm on Troodos square.
Throughout the day authorities were called upon to help vehicles that got stuck in the snow in the Troodos area, police said, among them a bus with 25 tourists that was heading from Platres to Troodos.
The bus, due to slippery road, veered off course around half an hour after noon, slid, and got stuck on the road, blocking both traffic in both directions.
Officers of the Troodos and Platres police were able to tow the bus with the help of a special vehicle used for rescues. No injuries were reported.
Schools in the mountains remained closed on Tuesday, with temperatures expected to drop to -5C over night. The education ministry announced that schools in Agros, Lemythou, Kyperounda, Pelendri, Platres and Trimiklini remained closed for the day.
Strong winds, reaching near gale force, caused trees to fall on two occasions on roads in the evening, one of them on a moving car.
One tree fell on a moving car in the Asomatos area in Limassol, but its driver was not injured.
Another one fell on the motorway, at the Kofinou exit towards Limassol. Police said at around 10.30 pm that crews were working on removing it and that it did not create any serious problems.
The extreme weather conditions and lightning caused damage to the electricity authority’s (EAC) grid with several areas, mainly in the Limassol district, left without power. There were also power outages in Kaimakli and Pallouriotissa in Nicosia.
EAC spokeswoman Christina Papadopoulou urged members of the public who experience power cuts to be patient as the utility’s crews were up against adverse weather conditions, especially the very strong winds.
Papadopoulou urged members of the public to switch off their television satellites, televisions and computers during intense lightning activity to avoid possible damage.
Due to heavy rainfall and snow many roads are dangerous, police said, urging drivers to be extremely careful.
Police on Tuesday evening said that the roads between Prodromos and Troodos and Karvounas and Troodos were closed to all vehicles.
In the Paphos district, the Kelokedara – Amargeti – Nata and the Galataria – Salamiou roads are closed to traffic due to the overflowing of the river Xeros (Ziripillis area). The bridge of river Jelefos remains closed after its recent overflowing.
While temperatures will still be below normal on Thursday, they will be close to average by Saturday.
Cloudy weather will alternate with sunny periods on Friday and Saturday.