November 17th, 2018

Heavy snow blankets rural areas

Schools in some areas were closed yesterday due to some of heavy snowfall in several regions of the island, which left numerous road blocked.

Children took advantage of the time off school to engage in snowball fights with friends, as adults huddled by the fire at home and in coffee shops after spending much of the day clearing away snow from outside their village homes.The schools affected by snowfall yesterday were those in Giolou, Drousia, Kathika, Polemi, Simou, Stroumbi, Panagia and Tsada, all in the Paphos district. Polis Chrysochous high school remained open but with minimal staff, as did the primary schools in Polis and Argaka.

Troodos mountain saw 40cm of snow while in semi-mountainous areas of the Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos districts the depth of snow reached between 10cm and 15cm.

In the village of Panagia residents told local broadcaster CyBC that they had not seen such an amount of snow in 20 years. "We've been waiting years to see this," one resident told TV cameras.

"It was lovely, this morning when I went to open the shop I pulled out my measuring tape and it measured 13cm," said another resident, Pahitis Constantinos. Even the previously pine-filled region of Sittas that suffered a devastating fire a few years ago was covered with snow.

Heavy rain also continued yesterday with the heaviest at Larnaca airport - 39mm.

According to the senior technician at the Water Development Department, Fedros Roussis, "there was a significant increase of water flow into the reservoirs."

Around 860,000 cubic metres poured into reservoirs on Wednesday with even more yesterday - almost double the amount, at 1,300,000 cubic metres.

Roussis confirmed however that the total water flow into reservoirs this year was very little, totalling 55.8 per cent of its full capacity and containing 162.3 million cubic metres. Last year it reached 63.7 per cent of its full capacity, containing 185.2 million cubic metres. However he remains optimistic waiting for the snow to melt and flow into the reservoirs.

"The snow, which will begin to melt in the next few weeks will help to have a steady flow into the dams," said Rousssis.

Source: Cyprus-Mail