Greece called in the armed forces on Wednesday to help repair widespread damage caused by heavy snowfall in Athens.
The Athens snowstorm, described by authorities as the most severe in 20 years, blanketed the city and its ancient monuments on Tuesday and left parts of the capital without power and water.
Armed forces service members, including marines, used cranes and chainsaws to help fire crews clear hundreds of downed trees that damaged the electricity network and blocked roads.
More than 800 fallen trees in greater Athens struck power lines, and hundreds more were reported in nearby areas including the island of Evia off the coast of the southeast mainland.
“The main challenge now is to restore the power supply to homes. This storm caused problems around the country,” Civil Protection chief, Nikos Hardalias, said.
“In Evia alone, 500 damaged electricity posts and pylons were replaced. The army and crews from civilian agencies worked through the night and are continuing to work now.”
Greek Migration Minister visits Kara Tepe camp after snowstorm:
Greek Migration and Asylum Minister, Notis Mitarakis, paid a late night visit to the Kara Tepe camp on the island of Lesvos at midnight on Tuesday.
The Minister inspected the living conditions of the approximately 7,000 asylum-seekers in the camp, where icy conditions prevailed, and “issued instructions for their improvement,” local media reported.
Emergency weather conditions have not created particular problems and are being addressed without disturbing the community’s normality,” Mitarakis posted on social media after his visit.
Mitarakis’ comments caused outrage amongst many NGO’s, with MSF Sea asking on Twitter: “Would you spend one night in any of these tents in sub 0°C temperatures @nmitarakis? Would you allow your children to do it?”