Winter storm leaves Greece covered in snow

Other News Materials 17 February 2008 19:46 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Greece was left covered in snow Sunday, cutting off access to dozens of villages and towns and disrupting air, ship and car travel across the country.

Athenians woke Sunday to a rare sight in the Greek capital as a thick layer of snow covered the Acropolis and rooftops across the city.

Authorities have been on alert since late Saturday after heavy snowfall, gale force winds and low temperatures began spreading from northern Greece to the rest of the country.

Traffic police banned heavy trucks from travelling on all major highways across the country while drivers were forced to use anti-skid chains in dozens of prefectures in northern Greece, including Florina, Pella, Grevena, Kastoria and many parts of the Peloponnese.

Many roads in suburbs around Athens were blocked off to traffic by the snow, and the majority of ships were docked at ports.

Heavy snowfall also hit the northern Aegean, the island of Evia and the southern Mediterranean island of Crete.

Dozens of villages on Evia were reportedly snowed in while flights to six islands were cancelled. Other flights from Athens International Airport faced delays.

Temperatures were expected to drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country.