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Snow storms in Greece trigger travel alert

A travel alert has been issued for Greece after unseasonally heavy snow falls and sub-zero temperatures hit Athens and many Aegean islands.

A winter storm, named Elpis by the National Meteorological Service, is expected to cause disruption for some days.

Aviation analytics specialist Cirium said 943 flights were cancelled across Greece and Turkey on Sunday and Monday (January 23-24) as rare snowfall hit the countries – with further cancellations to come.

Cirium said all flights were cancelled at Mykonos airport on Monday and Istanbul airport saw the most cancellations, with 416 services axed on Sunday and Monday because of the snow. Athens saw the second highest number of cancellations, with 116 flights called off on Monday.

The Greek government called a national holiday in affected areas for today (Tuesday).

The UK Foreign Office warned of severe disruption to transport and public services due to “extreme weather” in parts of Greece.

The British Embassy in Athens and Vice-Consulate in Crete will be closed today.

Snow is common in the Greek mountains and in the northern part of the country, but rare in central Athens and the Aegean islands.

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