Cyprus Mail

Civil defence warns public to take measures as storm set to move in

File photo

Civil defence on Friday warned the public to take the appropriate measures as heavy rain, thunderstorms, near gale force winds and high seas are forecast for the weekend.

The met office said heavy rain is forecast over the next three weeks over the Eastern Mediterranean as part of Storm Carmel, expected to hit Cyprus from late on Saturday night to Monday.

The warning is valid between 9pm Saturday and 1pm Monday. It said a combination of prolonged rainfall and localised heavy thunderstorms were expected.

Total rainfall is likely to range between 85 millimetres and 110 millimetres per 24 hours, the service said.

To prepare on time and minimise damages, civil defence recommended the public make sure rain gutters near their home or work are not obstructed, and take the right precautions in case they have a basement or live in an area prone to flooding.

These include digging a water reservoir with a pump and removing valuables and expensive appliances from the basement.

Those with a garden were instructed to allow the earth to absorb rainwater, to tether any large items that could be moved by the water like water tanks, and to put sandbags in places where water could enter the house, if in an area prone to flooding.

People in general were urged to limit their movements, especially if heavy rainfall is expected, and to move away from basements to higher floors.

If outside, people should not try to cross flooded streets on foot, or on a bicycle or motorcycle, and are recommended to turn around and drive away if in a car and avoid power lines and areas prone to rockfall.

It was also recommended that if stuck, people should abandon their car to avoid the risk of getting caught inside if it floods or gets carried away by the water.

After the weather subsides, the public are urged to avoid areas that have flooded as it might be dangerous, the asphalt may have cracked, the water may be contaminated and could have brought with it items or animals.

This is also so as not to obstruct rescue crews. For the same reason, calling emergency services should be restricted to emergencies.

Lastly, civil defence reminded that the dangers of a flood do not subside immediately after the water goes away and that the public should turn off the electricity and water supply, wear closed-toe shoes and appropriate clothing, and wait for confirmation from the competent authorities that an area is safe before they return to address any damages.


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