The Police have prepared an action plan to deal with the public's excursions to the snowy mountains over the weekend, as more cold weather is on its way.
It started snowing in the Troodos area yesterday morning and even though the weather is expected to be drier over the weekend, the temperatures are still expected to be quite low. Police Spokesman Lefki Solomondos yesterday called on the public to be extra careful on the roads, not only in the mountains, but also around the island as frost and ice is expected on the roads.
"There are quite a few roads that have become slippery and dangerous, either due to rain or hail, and there has even been snow in the Troodos area," said Solomondos. "Motorists are being urged to drive slowly, maintain safe distances from cars in front of them and have their lights on. It is also important that drivers comply with police patrols and sings."
With the chaos of last weekend, which saw police having to deal with a series of accidents and traffic jams as Cypriots rushed to see the snow, the police have come up with an action plan to avert a similar outcome.
"Taking into account the upheaval that was caused in the area last weekend, we have formed an action plan in cooperation with all departments. There will be increased police presence and roads will be closed off when needed," Solomondos explained.
She added, "It is completely understandable that people want to enjoy the beauty of the snow. But the Troodos area can't be host to a large number of cars and buses. Our aim is to help the public. But they need to understand the dangers and hassle they will go through. And they must take all our announcements into serious account. We have experience with these problems so the public should cooperate with us and inform us when it is needed."
The weather is expected to be dry over the weekend, although cold. A new weather system will affect the area from Monday onwards, bringing with it more rain, storms and snowfall.
Kleanthis Nicolaides of the Meteorological Services said the temperatures are lower than normal for this time of year.
Light rain and snow are expected to fall tomorrow evening. Temperature will be around 15 Celsius inland and 16 Celsius around the coasts.
Meanwhile, overjoyed locals have been celebrating around the island's second largest dam - Asprokremmos in Paphos- since it overflowed on Thursday evening.
Locals started gathering round Asprokremmos on Thursday night to watch the phenomenon. The last time the dam overflowed was eight years ago.
A festival was set up around the dam despite the rain, with stands offering traditional sweets, souvla and ice cream.
The Pomos, Argaka and Arminou dams have also overflowed in the past month. Kanariou and Vredou dams are also expected to overflow any day now.
District Engineer of the Water Development Department Vasos Socratous yesterday said the Paphos services had prepared to deal with any radical phenomena. "We are not expecting serious problems. Just that the rivers were dried out for many years now and this year they will come alive, and all those who had the nerve or disrespect to use the riverbanks, the rivers will seek to get what belongs to them back."
January has had the fourth largest amount of rain for the past 110 years, according to stats by the Meteorological Services. Officer Marios Theofilou said the rainfall had exceeded 211 mm, which means 206 per cent of the normal for this time of year.
The best January was in 2004 with 281 mm and the worst was in 1997 with just 12.3 mm.
Source: Cyprus Mail