Greece and Turkey holiday chaos as heavy snowfall causes flights to be cancelled

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Istanbul airport in Turkey closed on Monday after the roof of one of the cargo terminals collapsed under the snow. Schools and vaccination centres have closed in Greece.

Flights at Istanbul airport, including those operated by Turkish Airlines, were grounded during the chaos as staff worked to clear the snow.

Istanbul airport tweeted: “Our teams are carrying out cleaning works on the apron, runway and taxiway to resume flight operations.

“Despite adverse weather conditions and heavy snowfall our work continues at full speed.”

Residents in the busiest Turkish city faced chaos as they tried to get to work facing lethal conditions.

Major roads were closed by the heavy snowfall which has also led food delivery services to shut down.

Some areas of Greece have been forced to close schools and vaccination centres due to the heavy snow.

A Government spokesperson said conditions were expected to be “difficult” throughout Tuesday January 25.

Authorities have warned residents to limit travel as many roads have been impacted by the extreme weather.

Several domestic and international flights from the Greek capital of Athens, including from AEGEAN and Olympic Air, were cancelled due to the chaos.

Emergency alerts were sent to residents in the wider Athens area warning of severe snow on Monday.

Train and bus services in Athens were suspended due to the extreme weather while residents were warned to only make essential journeys.

Several drivers who chose to venture out found themselves stranded, with one telling Sky News: “We’ve already been here for three hours.

“It didn’t have snow at first, there was only about two cm on the road, but as time goes by things are getting worse and worse.”

While snow is common at this time of year in the north of Greece and in mountainous areas, it is not normal in Athens or on the islands.

Residents have shared shocking pictures of popular tourist islands such as Myknonos covered in snow.

Several of the island’s most popular beaches are closed due to the extreme snow in the region.

Authorities have warned that winds in the Aegean could be up to 55mph at force eight or nine.

Mario Picazo tweeted a picture of Mykonos under the snow saying: “The snow has curdled on the island of Mykonos.

“A spectacular winter scene in a place that hasn’t turned white for years.”

Temperatures on the popular Greek island of Crete are currently as low as minus three degrees.

Last year, an unexpected cold spell hit Greece in February cutting off power and killing four people.

One expert said the capital hadn’t seen back to back extreme winters and low temperatures like this since 1968.

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