Rare cyclone 'Ianos' is on track to hit Greece

A rare cyclone, dubbed Ianos, will affect Greece from Thursday according to the National Observatory of Athens weather station.

The main characteristics of Ianos will be heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and strong gale-force winds, especially at sea.

Ianos, expected to begin unfolding late Thursday afternoon with a barometric low will first hit the islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca, and the region of Ilia in the Peloponnese.

On Friday, Ianos is expected to affect the rest of the Peloponnese, central Greece, Attica and Evia. The Cyclades islands are expected to be affected as of Friday night, while on Saturday it is possible that Crete will also be impacted.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias warned the public to be vigilant and take necessary precautions. “We must be clear, the effects of Ianos will be similar to those of very bad weather, but with even greater intensity, extent and duration. Material damage may be caused by strong winds and collisions with objects flying in the wind,” he said.

He explained that the phenomenon is known as the ‘Mediterranean cyclone’, which first appeared in 1995 onwards. He added that it resembles the US tropical cyclones, but although it is weaker, shorter in duration and smaller in scale, it tends to intensify.

Hardalias noted that the effects will be strong and long lasting in these regions, and he called on the citizens of Messinia, Achaia, Arcadia, the Argolid, Viotia (Boeotia), Etoloakarnania, Fokida, Attica and Evia, who live in areas that have been flooded in the past or are near rivers, streams or shores, to avoid staying in basements, semi-basements and ground floors.