The free province of Famagusta was visited by the Minister of the Interior Nikos Nouris, who toured the areas affected by the torrential rains of Paralimni, Protaras and Ayia Napa.
< p>Subsequently, the Minister of the Interior presided over a meeting at the Municipal Hall of Paralimni, where the Mayor of Paralimni Theodoros Pyrillis, municipal councilors, representatives from the Famagusta Provincial Administration, the Fire Service, the Civil Defense and the Police participated.
In his statements after the end of the meeting, the Minister of the Interior stated that he had a meeting with all the services in the free area of Famagusta to deal with these “extremely extreme weather phenomena”. He noted that the accumulation of water clearly shows that this is an extreme situation, stressing that the services have all been mobilized since the morning starting with the services of the municipality of Paralimni which have the general warrant and which are supported by the civil defense services, of the police fire department and the provincial administration.
As the Minister mentioned, a total of 35 people who were trapped in the waters have been rescued so far and more than 60 cars that were in danger due to the height of the water have been towed. He added that together with the more than 200 calls received by the Fire Service, the magnitude of the problem is immediately apparent, which is mainly focused on the Paralimni area.
“It is an extremely local phenomenon, which we hope that with the depression that the meteorological service informed us that it expects to be in the afternoon hours, it will be possible on the one hand for the water to move towards the sea and of course for the services to be more active so that we can precisely help the people”, he said.
He noted that at this time the personal safety of citizens comes first and that already 16 crews of all of services are out and about and will remain in the area.
“EMAK has also been called which is in the area for rescue issues and together with all the services and especially the civil defense which will work together with the competent services always under the coordination of the local authority, I hope that we will deal with the phenomena “, he said.
Mr. Nouris expressed his thanks to the people of the Fire Service of the Municipality of Paralimni, the Police, the Provincial Administration of Famagusta, the Civil Defense and all the volunteers who are helping to deal with this extreme weather phenomenon.
In response to a journalist's question about whether it was found that there was damage to houses and hotel units, Nikos Nouris said that he is sure there is and said that the assessment will be done by the municipalities of Paralimni and Ayia Napa. He added that the rescues were extremely successful, while he characterized the condition of the sea in Protaras as unprecedented, which turned red with the movement of tons of soil, and said that the water is at an extremely high altitude. He urged people where and where there is no reason to confine themselves to their homes and not to traffic.
The Mayor of Paralimni, Theodoros Pyrillis, spoke of a rather difficult day and thanked the Minister who immediately ran to stand by their side, thereby contributing and conveying the state's support to them.
He mentioned that there are crews for to both help the people but also to keep the road network clean and he said that the efforts will continue in the afternoon, having mobilized all the staff of the Municipality of Paralimni.
“Coordination is needed. There are some places in particular that are close to the 3rd Primary School of Paralimni, there we focus our attention, so that we can help prevent houses from flooding”, he said.
He noted that the phenomena were really so extreme that if they had not if too many measures were taken in the past with work that had been done, the problem would be much greater. He added that the Municipality of Paralimni is already in the process of completing the master plan for rainwater, a project that will cost 7 million euros, is co-financed by the Cohesion Fund and will start in 2023.
The Minister of the Interior in his turn stated that the fact that the center of Paralimni does not seem to have been affected by these huge problems and volumes of water, is due to the fact that in previous years, a proper planning for the runoff of the rains was preceded which it has clearly paid off.
So what will be done, he said, “is the completion of this effort so that we do not have these phenomena to the extent that we have today”. He noted, however, that this type of phenomenon, which is obviously one of the huge environmental problems affecting the entire world in recent years, is extreme and will always exist.
Roads closed due to water accumulation in the free province of Famagusta
Protaras Kavo Greko Avenue remains closed due to water accumulation, from the height of the Agia Triada roundabout to the entrance of Protaras in the Pernera area and the road from the Agios Panteleimons roundabout to the Kammitsi traffic lights.
According to the Spokesman of the Famagusta Police Department Steve Theodoulou, in addition to the above points, the passage of vehicles has been cut off from the height of the roundabout despite the Famagusta Land Registry up to the roundabout despite the Avocado oven, where a strong accumulation of water was observed and also the immobilization of several vehicles.
Drivers who will be using the road network are urged to limit unnecessary movements and be especially careful due to the large amount of water that has accumulated on the roads making them slippery and dangerous. Drivers are asked to drive at low speeds, keep a safe distance from vehicles in front and keep their vehicle's headlights on.
“The police will continue to be alert as the rain has not stopped since the morning while personnel have been recalled to be able to respond immediately and more effectively to the public's assistance,” he said.
Furthermore, Mr. . Theodoulou said that since the early hours of the morning, the Famagusta police department has been responding to continuous calls for help due to the heavy rains that are particularly observed in the areas of Paralimni, Protaras and Ayia Napa,
As he noted, due to the intense and continuous rainfall, central arteries of the road network were flooded, causing heavy traffic congestion, while several vehicles were immobilized and their drivers trapped in them.
The police in collaboration with the Municipality of Paralimni, he noted, they proceeded immediately to close roads while a response was made and persons were freed from their private vehicles or moved from their homes.
From the rain, he added, several buildings, hotels, shops and houses were flooded, while it is still unknown the amount of damage caused, something that will become clear in the coming days.
“The work of the Police and the Fire Service was assisted by members of the civil defense, the provincial administration of Famagusta and citizens, especially with the use of private excavators and tugs , helping to open paths to release water trapped in roads as well as towing and moving of immobilized vehicles”, he said.