Heatwaves, fires and snow: Greece’s extreme weather of last six months in pictures

Country has recently created ministry dedicated to tackling impact of climate crisis

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 27 January 2022 03:13
<p>The snow covered Ancient Temple of Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill </p>

The snow covered Ancient Temple of Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill

Greece has been hit by a rocky six months in terms of weather, experiencing both intense snow and heatwaves, as well as flooding and fires.

During this time, the government created a new department to tackle the impact of the climate crisis, which is making many types of extreme weather events more likely to occur and more severe when they do.

“The consequences of climate change have overtaken us, and we must accelerate major change without delay,” Christos Stylianides, the minister in charge, said as he took over the role.

Last summer, Greece experienced a 40C heatwave which is called its most intense in decades.

Consequently, blazes ripped through many parts of the country - including a major wildfire north of Athens. Homes and businesses were destroyed, residents injured and at least three killed.

Bouts of flooding hit Greece in autumn months, including on the island of Evia in October and the mainland in December.

Extreme weather events did not seem to be easing off with the new year, with severe snowfall - which hit on Monday - causing chaos in the country. Schools have been sent online and thousands of motorists left stranded on a motorway.

Ancient monuments in Athens have also been covered in snow in the rare cold snap.

Here are some images showing the extremes of the past six months:

2021 Summer wildfires

Houses were burned in a wildfire in the village of Kastri on Evia in August

Remains of a 18th century Orthodox church after the fire in Kokino Milia village on Evia island in August

A man watches a helicopter during a fire in the village of Villa, northwestern Athens

A volunteer holds a water hose during efforts to try to extinguish a fire in the village of Villa, north of Athens

A house in Eleni Haniosakis following a wildfire in the village of Krioneri, north of Athens, in August

2021 Autumn floods

Greece Floods

Greece Floods

Streets were flooded in the town of Messolonghi, western Greece, in December

Flooded streets in the town of Lamia, central Greece, in December

2022 January snow

The snow covered Ancient Temple of Parthenon atop the Acropolis hill

Cars are abandoned after being immobilised at Attiki Odos on the Athens main ring road

An abandoned vehicle is seen in an motorway way after a snowstorm in Athens on 24 January 2022

A swimmer walks on a snow covered beach after a heavy snowfall in Athens

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