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Civil defence and fire brigade on standby ahead of Storm Carmel

tseriou weather 06
File Photo: Recent rains (Christos Theodorides)

Civil defence on Saturday said they were working in close cooperation with the fire service to deal with any problems that may arise due to extreme weather forecast to hit Cyprus on Saturday night.

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

“We have all our teams all over Cyprus on standby, so that, if necessary, they can be activated immediately for help,” civil defence spokesperson Olivia Michaelidou told the Cyprus News Agency.

“We are in close cooperation and communication with the fire service, with the guidance of whom we will mobilise our members to deal with incidents that may occur due to the occurrence of extreme weather events,” she added.

According to the met office’s orange warning, to be in effect from 9pm Saturday to 1pm Monday, a combination of at times prolonged rain and local heavy thunderstorms is expected to affect the area. The total precipitation is likely to range between 85 and 110 millimetres per 24 hours.

Head of the met office, Cleanthis Nicolaides, told CyBC that extreme weather is expected after 9pm Saturday with winds, prolonged rain, and thunderstorms to mainly affect the south and west coasts. He noted, however that the bad weather will also affect inland areas.

The peak of the weather system is expected on Sunday, while on Monday it will weaken.

“Our teams are made up of permanent staff and volunteers, who receive systematic training and are provided with the necessary equipment so that they can respond to emergencies, such as pumping water from basements, moving tree trunks that may have fallen, collection of materials, etc,” Michaelidou said.

She called on people to avoid unnecessary movement or be out on the road unless it is extremely necessary and to stay in safe spaces. The met office said that the storm may cause dangerous driving conditions due to reduced visibility and excess water on the roads.

People were also urged to 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.

They were also advised to tether any large items that could be swept aby the water or carried off by the wind.

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

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