Cold temperatures persist

Cold temperatures and gale-force winds gripped large parts of the country on Tuesday, with temperatures reaching -10 Celsius and winds reaching 9 Beaufort in some cases. In Athens light snowfall was observed in the city center, while snowfall in the northern suburbs led to certain measures being taken by local authorities.

Motorists were required to use snow chains in order to reach parts of Parnitha, while a portion of the Penteli ring road was closed. Schools in the area of Thrakomakedones were also closed.

Strong winds forced ferries in the ports of Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio to cancel scheduled departures for Crete and the Cyclades.

According to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HMNS), temperatures are expected to improve by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the City of Athens and non-governmental organizations active in the capital on Monday praised public response with regards to aiding the city’s increasing homeless population -- currently estimated at 15,000 people -- in the wake of the cold front. A large collection of garments, bed linen and blankets, among others, were gathered following a plea by local authorities and NGOs. The City of Athens has also set up the 1960 hotline in order for citizens to report the presence of homeless people who need help.

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