A freak Mediterranean hurricane known as a ‘medicane’ has ravaged Greek islands, and even completely washed away entire beaches. The devastation has uprooted trees, severely flooded entire cities and caused power cuts on the Ionian islands and the western Peloponnese. Cyclone Ianos swept through central Greece last night and has even reached the Greek capital of Athens, with an emergency was declared at Zakynthos.
Greek civil protection authorities have been put on maximum alert for the aftermath of the hurricane.
Authorities have confirmed that at least two people have died so far from the medicane.
Greece’s national meteorological office issued a red alert for the Ionian isles, Peloponnese peninsula and central Greece.
The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) warned of a threat to life throughout the country.
The weather agency warned of “severe rain and thunderstorms and gale-force winds” through the weekend, with Crete also at risk later on Sunday.
Five boats sank off Zakynthos and Lefkada on Friday.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said the government will provide economic relief to the affected areas.
He said: “Saving human lives is our priority.”
The fire brigade revealed it has received more than 2,450 calls for assistance.
Nikolaos Gousios, a resident at Farsala, told state TV: “We’re dealing with a total catastrophe.”
Eyewitnesses posted footage online showing the cyclone even washing away the entire Jerusalem Beach on Friday.
Waves were described as 7 metres high when the cyclone struck Greece, with train services linking the north and south of the country completely cut.