Thousands evacuated from the Athens highway as a snowstorm struck Greece

Athens — After a heavy snowstorm struck Greece on Monday, covering the capital and causing traffic jams, rescue teams, including troops, worked overnight to evacuate thousands of people left behind in cars on the Athens highway. rice field.

By early Tuesday, more than 3,500 people had been evacuated and some abandoned their cars on foot, but about 1,200 cars were on the capital’s main ring road, Atikiodos, according to government spokesman Jannis Oikonomou. It stayed stopped.

“We had a very difficult night and a superhuman evacuation effort is underway at Atiki Odos,” Oikonomou told Greek television.

“We are still in a very difficult stage, as it is predicted that we will face (weather) difficulties again after a while,” he said.

Homeless belongings
After a heavy snowfall in Athens, Greece, on January 25, 2022, homeless people’s belongings were covered in snow at Syntagma Square. (Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters)

When the temperature dropped overnight, the soldiers handed out food, water and blankets to the drivers. Some of the drivers were stuck in the car for more than 10 hours. Television footage showed snow-covered roads and vehicles.

Authorities declared a holiday on Tuesday, closing government offices and private companies except supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations in the Athens metropolitan area and some islands.

Part of Athens was hit by a power outage, and grid operators said the crew was working to restore power.

Fifteen passengers were injured when a railroad car tried to pull a train carrying about 200 passengers stopped in heavy snow in central Greece.

A storm named Elpida was expected to continue until Wednesday.

By Karolina Tagaris