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A rare storm in the Mediterranean Sea hits western Greece

A rare Mediterranean storm called Medikin (Mediterranean hurricane) hit western Greece on Friday.

The storm flooded streets, uprooted trees and cut off electricity in the islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca in the Ionian Sea and in areas of western Peloponnese.

The fire department said it had received more than 600 calls for help, especially requests for assistance in cutting trees and pumping water out of homes and shops, and dhows sank in Kefalonia and Lefkada, while the country’s Civil Protection Service declared a state of emergency in Ithaca and Zakynthos.

The Mayor of Kefalonia, Theophilos Michelatos, confirmed that “no one was injured, but the houses, road infrastructure and water facilities were damaged. The situation was similar in Zakynthos and Ithaca, where electricity was also cut off for long periods”.

The electricity grid has encountered difficulties in adapting to the situation, and efforts are underway to restore electricity in the affected areas.

“The hurricane will remain in the west with the same intensity for a period of six to nine hours and then begin to weaken and move towards the south,” said Nikos Hardelias, Deputy Minister of Citizens Protection.

Hardalias added that the storm would also hit central Greece, where heavy rains are expected before reaching the wider Athens area on Saturday.

Greek authorities said that it is not possible to accurately predict the severity of the hurricane and its path.

Hurricanes like these first appeared in Greece in 1995, but Hardelias said the pace of such severe weather has increased in recent years.

A similar storm hit Greece in 2018. In 2017, floods killed 25 people and displaced hundreds.

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