A rare, powerful cyclone slammed into the western Ionian Islands of Greece and other parts of the country on Friday, bringing lashing rain, strong winds and flooding as it tore into the coastline. Such storms — which some meteorologists call Medicanes, or Mediterranean hurricanes — were virtually unheard-of before the 1990s, but in recent years have become a more regular occurrence because of rising sea temperatures. Greece issued its highest-level weather alert with the landfall of the hurricane-strength storm, which is known locally as Ianos and elsewhere in the region as Cassilda. Local authorities advised the islands’ residents, and tourists trapped there because of the cyclone, to remain indoors as the storm brought winds of at least 75 miles per hour. Videos posted to social media from the Greek islands show rough seas battering normally idyllic beaches and trees bending with the force of the wind as rain pummels the landscape.
Source: New York Times September 18, 2020 10:40 UTC