November 20th, 2017

Floods?

With bad weather on the way the police - keen to prevent problems from possible floods - are urging the public to prepare for the worst.

The police have been on alert getting in touch with community leaders to urge them to take precautionary measures to prevent floods ahead of the heavy rain expected today and tomorrow.The weather will be "quite different from what we've had until now," the CyBC's meteorological officer Michalis Mouskos said yesterday.

Today and tomorrow, the island should experience a lot of rain, possibly storms and, in the capital, perhaps even hail in the afternoon, Mouskos said.

"We will be in touch with the Meteorological Service and if and when extreme weather is observed, we will warn the public to avoid needlessly moving around, or if there's a problem with a road network we will let them know in time via announcements and the media," police spokesperson Michalis Katsounotos said.

Residents in flood-prone areas should clear sewage systems and clogged drains, Katsounotos said.

Katsounotos said that their measures were precautionary and were not meant to instil panic.

"Prevention is the best cure," Katsounotos said.

Torrential rain and flooding in Nicosia and Larnaca during the Kataklysmos weekend in June trapped people in cars causing a traffic backlog and keeping Fire Services busy with over 200 calls for help.

The police are advising homeowners to have torches handy in case of a power cut, secure items, seal basements and windows, avoid being close to windows or items which could break and even pack a bag with emergency equipment and supplies.

"The help of neighbours must be asked in time to (stack) sand or earth-filled bags and when possible using water drainage equipment," said a police announcement yesterday.

People should "help others in any way possible and get in touch with emergency crews," the police said.

Avoid getting stuck in a car, grab on to something stable such as tree if caught in a moving stream and always move to a higher ground, the police said.

Asked if the measures represented a real threat Katsounotos told the Cyprus Mail that they were only precautionary.

"But the gist really is for people to clear up blockages and be prepared," he said.

The rain will also bring reprieve from the heat with the temperature dropping to 29 degrees Celsius and plunging a few degrees more tomorrow all over Cyprus, Mouskos said.

The public can call fire services if necessary on 199 or 192.

Source: Cyprus-Mail