By Nikolaos Prakas and Elias Hazou

Torrential rains and storms battered the island on Monday, with rainfall expected to continue through to Thursday.

Larnaca experienced heavy flooding while parts of Nicosia were similarly affected.

Videos of Phaneromenis Avenue in Larnaca showed cars trying to make it through the gathering rainwater.

According to fire service spokesman Andreas Kettis, by around 3pm they received some 90 calls for help from across Larnaca district. Off-duty firefighters were called in to assist. Civil Defence crews were also deployed.

Firefighters pumped water out of a basement that flooded in Kofinou, Larnaca.

The electricity authority (EAC) reported on their website that two villages in Larnaca were experiencing power outages.

According to the EAC, part of the village of Ormidia and Xylotymvou were without electricity.

At the Ayios Georgios Kontou area in Larnaca, an uprooted cypress tree fell onto a car. Police officers rushed to the scene and pulled the driver out.

Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras said the “worst was avoided” thanks to the operation of the two pumping stations.

He added that had the two pumping stations – codenamed S8 and S9 – not been constructed in recent years, the entire city of Larnaca would have now been overwhelmed.

The rainfall of the last 24 hours was the heaviest of the past three to four years.


Flooding in Larnaca (Christos Theodorides)

In the Filonoi area, inadequate drainage led to a house being flooded.

Over in Ayia Napa, a waterspout forming at sea made landfall, blowing away a number of sunbeds on a beach.

The EAC also reported that certain areas in three other districts were being affected by the storms on the island.

In Nicosia power was out in areas of Dali, Ayios Antonios, and Ayios Savvas, while in Limassol there were power outages in the Zakaki area, Trimiklini village, Moni, and other areas of the city.

The Famagusta area had outages in the village of Achna.

Moreover, due to the severe weather conditions, five flights were delayed in landing at Larnaca airport on Monday.

According to airport operator Hermes, the reason behind the delays was the extremely low visibility of the landing strip from the planes.

A flight scheduled to land in Larnaca from Jordan’s capital Amman was forced to return.

At the moment, however, both airports continue to operate normally, Hermes said.

According to the director of the meteorological service, Cleanthis Nicolaides, the weather system is the same that had affected the island of Crete a few days ago.

The flooding in Crete killed one person and left several missing.

Commenting on the storm now affecting Cyprus, Nicolaides said this front will last until Thursday, after which it will slowly start to subside.

“The intense weather conditions will continue today in rural areas and inland, and as of Thursday they will begin to dissipate,” he said.

Police have warned that the roads will be slippery in many parts of Nicosia, Larnaca and the Famagusta area.

The meteorological service has said that rainfall is expected to be between 35 and 50mm and there is a chance of hail.

The weather will be partly cloudy throughout the day with isolated thunderstorms and rain. Hail is expected to fall on the southern and southwestern areas of the island.

The rain is expected to continue into the night on the southwestern coast.

Meanwhile, mayor of Polis Chrysochous Yiotis Papachristofis told the Cyprus News Agency that they remain ready and are prepared for the rain after that area of the island was worst hit on Sunday.

Papachristofis said that they started cleaning drains in the road almost three weeks ago in preparation for the season.

This helped the area to not be overly affected by the rain, he added.

In Paphos earlier, a waterspout was seen off the coast near Yeroskipou.

In the north of the island, heavy rains caused water accumulation on streets, especially in the Nicosia area, trapping a number of cars and motorcycles.

The weather affected seven flights from mainland Turkey. A plane inbound from Istanbul was forced to turn around and land at Adana.