Winter kept a tight grip on Cyprus yesterday with more rain and snow expected today but warmer weather is coming.
Some 20 mountain villages found themselves cut off yesterday morning due to the snowfall which at noon fell as low as Paralimni.
Farmakas village at an altitude of 1,000-1,400 meters on the way to Maheras in the Troodos Mountain chain was cut off and inaccessible due to heavy snow with its former community leader Kyriacos Constantinou yesterday saying residents had been without essentials like bread and milk for two days.
“The Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) has restored electricity supply here and we are not dramatising things, we will get by with what we have,” he told The Cyprus Daily.
“The question is why don’t the authorities begin cleaning roads from snow with high mountain communities but begin with low-level villages?” he added.
EAC spokesman Costas Gavrielides told The Cyprus Daily technicians will not abandon mountain areas unless all villages and communities have their electricity.
EAC crews were also kept busy throughout the day with the vast majority of problems put right by late afternoon.
The crews’ work fixing the power cuts created by the bad weather was hampered by their difficulty in accessing communities due to the snow.
The EAC spokesman said that the authority had over the two days of bad weather received around 6,800 calls reporting over 400 electricity problems.
Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos yesterday used his Twitter account to announce that private vehicles had been hired to assist in clearing access roads to cut-off communities.
Olympus, the Troodos Mountains’ highest peak, meanwhile, was covered in 70cm of snow with 50cm reported in Troodos Square. All the roads to Troodos were made off-limits to all vehicles.
Temperatures yesterday also remained some 10 °C below the usual for this time of year with daytime temperatures dropping to -8 °C in the mountains.
Potato and other farmers in the Famagusta district were last night expected to continue fighting the frost in efforts to save their crops and livestock. They had also spent all Wednesday night doing the same.
Agriculture Ministry officials, however, visited the area yesterday to inspect reported severe damage from the previous day. Most of the damage was caused to potato crops and green houses.