Greece hit by cold and wind, fisherman missing

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A fisherman was missing in northern Greece on Tuesday, as the country is being swept by a cold front, with winds reaching up to 10 on the Beaufort scale in some regions, heavy rain and the first snowfall of this winter appearing in mountainous areas.

The 52-year-old Greek national, according to local authorities, has gone missing since late Monday, when the adverse weather conditions reached lake Kerkini where he was fishing, about 360 km north of Athens.

As a rescue operation is underway to trace him, authorities are on alert nationwide to deal with problems caused by the gale-force winds and storms.

Ferry boats have remained docked at the port of Piraeus and other ports across the country, with dozens of routes cancelled.

In Athens the Fire Brigade has responded to more than 250 telephone calls to pump water out of basements and remove uprooted trees which have blocked streets.

No injuries or major material damage have been reported so far, but authorities are calling on people to be cautious, as meteorologists are warning that the bad weather conditions, which led to the thermometer dropping down to 2 degrees Celsius in some parts of northern Greece, will continue to the weekend.

In the Peloponnese peninsula which was hit first by the cold front on Monday, the city of Argos, where a Serbian woman drowned in a basement apartment, has been declared in a state of emergency.

According to early estimates, the cost of damages from the flooding reaches up to 2.5 million euros (3.4 million U.S. dollars).

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