Greece braces for a 'Medicane' - a rare Mediterranean hurricane named Ianos

Greece braces for a 'Medicane' - a rare Mediterranean hurricane named Ianos

They said that a woman went missing after she ignored police and firefighters 'instructions not to drive in an area where a bridge spans a river.

The islands of Cephalonia, Ithaki and Zakynthos have been hit with power outages and part of the local road network has been cut off, he said.

Since the storm first hit Greece, the fire brigade said it had received more than 2,450 calls for assistance to rescue trapped people, cut down trees, and pump out water from homes and stores.

Emergency teams were still searching for a boat carrying 55 migrants on Saturday after receiving a distress signal a day earlier, but the coast guard told AFP the vessel may have changed direction after receiving no help.

Mediterranean cyclone Ianos, an unusual phenomenon also known as a "medicane", packed violent winds of up to 117 kilometres (73 miles) per hour according to the Greek civil protection agency.

Mediterranean cyclone Ianos forced flights and ferries to be cancelled on Friday as it barrelled across Greece's western islands.

Schools remained closed in many areas in western Greece and authorities advised residents to remain indoors.

© Provided by Associated Press Seawater from crashing waves cover a road at the port of Argostoli, on the Ionian island of Kefalonia, western Greece, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.

The electricity grid was struggling to cope, and efforts were being made to restore power in Karditsa and the Ionian islands.

A Reuters witness said there was heavy rainfall in the area of Pyrgos in the western Peloponnese, where the streets were empty, and strong winds. The Cyclades islands are expected to be affected as of Friday night, while on Saturday it is possible that Crete will also be impacted. There were no reports of damage so far. Flash floods in 2017 killed 25 people and left hundreds homeless.

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