The heavy autumn hurricane Janus moved along the coast of the Greek peninsula Peloponnese on Friday.
Dozens of refugees were in distress and no help could be sent. At the same time, a storm front was also expected over central Greece.
Greece – The storm is a Medicane, a Mediterranean Hurricane Janus . These rarely occur, and when they do, it is in late summer, when the Mediterranean Sea is warmest. The temperature in the Ionian Sea between southern Italy and Greece is currently over 28 degrees Celsius – Hurricane Janus has formed in the past few days on the sea under the best conditions.
On Friday, the cyclone moved over the Ionian islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos, causing waves up to six meters high and power outages. According to the Greek civil protection authority, Hurricane Janus raged with wind speeds of up to 117 kilometers per hour. In front of Zakynthos, the occupants of a boat sent a distress signal. According to initial information from the coast guard, around 50 refugees are on board. The boat is drifting along, reported Greek television.
Winch hinder rescue operation
Because of the stormy winds, the rescue operation is hindered. They hope that the boat – before it capsizes – drifts to the mainland, they said. In addition, other ships in the area have been asked for support. In the Ionian Sea, refugees on their way to Italy are discovered almost every day. The Greek government also announced that more than 800 asylum seekers from three camps near Athens would be accommodated in a conference hall in the capital as a precaution because of the storm.
On Friday morning two Ryanair aircraft had to be diverted to Athens, they could not land on Kefalonia as planned. According to the ANA news agency, a sailing boat was swept away by the waves off the island of Ithaca, and the two occupants were able to save themselves on the shore. Another boat sank in the port of Zakynthos. Because of Hurricane Janus the schools in numerous regions of western Greece were also closed, the ferry connections to the islands of Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Ithaca are suspended.
— The Hotelier (@SimplyConstant) September 18, 2020