Migrants stranded at sea as powerful storm batters Greece
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A boat carrying dozens of migrants was stranded at sea Friday as hurricane-force winds and heavy rain battered the western coast of Greece, causing power outages and road closures.
Coast guard officials said due to the high winds, rescue boats were so far unable to approach the vessel believed to be carrying more than 50 migrants south of Greece's Peloponnese region. A powerful tropical-like storm named Ianos battered the western islands of Zakynthos, Kefalonia, and Ithaki overnight, causing flash flooding, property damage, power outages, and road closures mostly from downed trees, police and local authorities said. No injuries were reported. The storm, with winds exceeding 110 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour), reached the western mainland Friday. Computer models suggested that the storm would not directly affect Athens but heavy rainfall was also expected in the Greek capital. Schools and stores were closed, and ferry services were suspended in many areas in western Greece as authorities advised residents to remain indoors. "We are expecting the storm to progress with the same intensity for the six to nine hours in western Greece and then, weakened, see it head southward,” Civil Protection chief Nikos Hardalias said. “But areas that are not directly affected ... will see a large volume of water with heavy rainfall.”