PortandTerminal.com, September 18, 2020
ATHENS, GREECE – A rare Mediterranean hurricane — otherwise known as a “medicane” — has made landfall over Western Greece.
Greek civil protection authorities have been put on maximum alert after the Mediterranean cyclone made landfall, battering the west of the country and many of its popular Ionian islands.
The storm, named Ianos, hit Lefkada Island on Friday morning, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, and is expected to impact mainland Greece and the Peloponnese peninsula later. Ianos was traveling with sustained winds of 100 kph (62 mph) just before landfall, making it the equivalent of a strong tropical storm in the Atlantic.
Torrential rain overnight created fast-flowing torrents of red mud, with a local mayor and posters on social media calling it a “biblical” like disaster.
A medicane has features similar to hurricanes and typhoons. On a few rare occasions, some storms have been observed reaching the strength of a Category 1 hurricane. The main hazard posed by Medicanes is not usually from destructive winds but through life-threatening torrential rains and flash floods as we’re witnessing now in Greece.
Medicanes can form over cooler waters and usually move from west to east, whereas hurricanes move from east to west.
Ianos could end up being one of the strongest medicanes on record. On satellite imagery, the storm is taking on an appearance that resembles a hurricane you’d expect to find in the Caribbean.
With reporting by CNN and BBC
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