Hurricane Ianos landed in western Greece. Due to the combination of heavy rainfall and strong winds, several islands in the Ionian Sea have been hit by floods and power cuts, according to Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias.
Wind speeds of up to 117 kilometres per hour were measured during the storm. Several flights to the island of Kefalonia had to divert because of the strong winds. Dozens of beach bars were destroyed and several yachts were damaged in the harbours of the tourist resorts. Many trees were also blown over. By the end of the afternoon on Friday, the authorities had received no reports of casualties.
The coastguard reported that, off the coast of the western part of the Peloponnese peninsula, a ship carrying 55 migrants was in trouble because of the bad weather. The boat was most probably on its way to Italy. Vessels in the area tried to help, but the high waves and force 11 winds made it impossible to take over passengers.
The coastguard hopes that the migrant ship will drift towards land. That would facilitate the rescue operation. According to Greek state radio, the boat was still some 18 kilometres off the coast on Friday afternoon and is indeed moving towards the sandy beaches of the Ilia district.
People who are in the vicinity of the storm area are advised not to go out. Schools remained closed on Friday and there were no ferries to and from Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Ithaca. Meteorologists warned that Ianos, which is slowly moving along the west coast, may be heading inland in the next few hours. Severe damage could be done there too. A weather improvement is only to be expected in the night from Sunday to Monday.
In 2017, more than 20 people will die as a result of a severe ‘medication’ in Greece, a storm depression that could occur towards the end of summer in the Mediterranean, where the water will still be warm. Above the mainland, the force is usually rapidly diminishing.