November 17th, 2018

The cold and wet weather is set to continue

The cold and wet weather is set to continue this week with clouds and localised showers across the island brought on by a low pressure weather system.

According to meteorological officer Harris Zacharias, the wet weather is likely to melt most of the snow that fell in the Troodos Mountains by Saturday.

Zacharias said yesterday: "I do not expect there to be any snow this week, but there will be significant rainfall from tonight until Friday. There won't be any more snow until we receive another weather system according to the forecast."While this is bad news for eager skiers, it could bring as much as 90 per cent of the average rainfall for December before the weekend.

As of yesterday evening, 78 mm had fallen on the island, which is 74 per cent of the 106mm average for this month. Between Saturday and last night, 2.3 million cubic metres of water flowed into the reservoirs, bringing the total stored water to almost 138 million cubic metres. This is 57 million cubic metres more than last year.

The heaviest rainfall was in Prodromou area, where 203mm, or 119 per cent of the normal amount for the month fell in the last three days.

In the same period Athienou received 75 mm (130 per cent of the total monthly average) Kornos received 93mm (100 per cent of the December average) and Platania (186 mmm - 83 per cent of the average)

The rainfall surge, which came after several unseasonably warm and dry weeks, caused widespread damage in several districts.

In Dromolaxia some 3,000 chicks drowned when a farm flooded, while in Pentashinos around €5,000 of damages was caused to one restaurant, while in Alambra and Shia the civil defence teams assisted some of the elderly residents.

Acting Civil Defence Commissiober Andreas Frantzis said last night: "we worked side by side with the District Officer and the fire service. Fortunately we did not have too much damage."

Frantzis explained that the successful measures taken by the District Officer after last year's heavy rainfall were successful in channelling away the flood water, and that Civil Defence volunteers remained on hand to assist people, for example with water pumps, in case of more severe weather.

While the authorities can help in a crisis, there are some preventative measures we can take to reduce flood damage.

Larnaca Civil Defence Director Chrysilios Chrysiliou urges residents to clear drains and gutters of debris that will have backed up after the heavy rains.

Chrysiliou said "A major mistake is to forget to clean the drainage system. After the first rain there will be a lot of leaves and plastic bags. This is a small thing that we should not wait until it is too late to do."

Another preventative measure is to check the water pumps that are found in the basements of most tower blocks and large buildings.

"After a long dry summer many of these pumps may have stopped working, and so we have to check them. These are things everyone can do to prevent and reduce flooding damage."

Source:  Cyprus-Mail