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20 May, 2024
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Roads turned into rivers amid thunderstorms and hail

Torrential rains and flash flooding in Cyprus today disrupt traffic, prompting calls for urgent action


Severe weather unleashed its fury on Cyprus on Tuesday, with thunderstorms and hail wreaking havoc in various parts of the island, transforming roads into rivers and snarling traffic. A new yellow warning for isolated strong thunderstorms and hail added to the woes, in effect until 6 p.m., as per the Meteorological Department's advisory.

According to forecasts, isolated strong thunderstorms were expected to lash the region, accompanied by hail within the thunderstorms, and they did not disappoint. Wind patterns shifted and intensified, while rainfall was estimated between 35 and 55 millimeters per hour.

The deluge had a profound impact on roadways, prompting closures and disruptions across affected areas. By around 1:30 p.m., the coastal road from Kivisili to Panagia Petounta in Mazotos shut down due to water accumulation from heavy rains in the Larnaca province. Drivers were urged to divert to the main road Kivisili-Mazotos as an alternative.

In the Nicosia district, the Idaliou area witnessed the closure of the Nea Ledra Street bridge owing to torrential water overflow, amplifying traffic woes in Idaliou and Pera Chorio Nisou.

The Nicosia-Larnaca motorway bore the brunt of the deluge, particularly around its convergence with the Nicosia-Lemesos motorway. Traffic snarls plagued Tseriou, Pera Chorio Nissou, Alambra, Lympion, Kornos, and the vicinity of Larnaca airport, where water inundation on the road surface hampered movement.

Authorities sounded the alarm, advising motorists to exercise caution, reduce speed, maintain safe distances, and keep headlights on.

The severe weather event prompted candidate for Mayor of South Nicosia - Idali, Andreas Joseph, to take to social media, sharing photos revealing the inundation at the Nea Ledra Passage. Expressing concern for human safety, Joseph called for urgent action, advocating for the creation of a secondary passage for area residents.

Meanwhile, the Fire Service fielded a flurry of calls in the Nicosia District, tallying 30 incidents that involved pumping rainwater from subterranean areas and residences, unclogging public road drains, and towing vehicles stranded on flooded roads. Responding to the crises were 5 crews from the Fire Service, 1 from the Civil Defence, and 2 from the volunteer group Support Cy.

Cyprus  |  weather  |  rains  |  hail

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