Ianos is the beginning of the hurricane era in Greece especially Ionian islands

The Doctor of Geology of the University of Patras, Petros Petrounias, speaks to ethnos.gr about the increase of the intensity of the weather phenomena and the immediate need to create a new design of flood protection works

The earthquake of 6.6 on the Richter Halcyon Islands in 1981 was a benchmark to make radical changes in seismic law in Greece, which are again reinforced by the earthquake of 5.9 Richter in 1999 in Parnitha . The great disasters caused by the passage of the bad weather Janos  has opened the issue of citizens’ safety and the resilience of the infrastructure but also a possible upgrade in the protocols of the Civil Protection and the flood works .

Will the Mediterranean cyclone “Janos” be the reference point corresponding to the earthquakes of 1981 and 1999? The Doctor of Geology of the University of Patras, Petros Petrounias, is also a resident of Kefalonia . Apart from the fact that he monitors and records the climate change and the effects it causes, he also experienced the sweeping meteorological phenomenon of Janos . 

“Cyclone and hurricane era”

He concludes, in fact, that Cyclone “Janos” is the culmination of successive weather phenomena that with geometric progress have an increasing intensity. He also emphasizes that cyclones of this kind will be more common in Greece and especially in the Ionian , where they come strengthened by the sea due to climate change and rising sea temperatures.

“I tell you with certainty that every time we have more and more intensity of phenomena. All this is not accidental. It is growing exponentially and we have reached the era of strong cyclones that was once an unknown or very rare phenomenon. As I analyzed the previous days , Janos at certain times and in some places that was favored by the conditions reached hurricane prices . To be characterized as a hurricane, the maximum constant wind speed must be ≥74 miles / hour (≥118 km / h), ie it must reach 12 Beaufort (≥33 meters / second or ≥64 knots). I am not intimidating anyone but it is mathematically confirmed that the next “Janos” will be even more violent and we will not be late to talk officially about“era of hurricanes in the Mediterranean and in Greece “, said Petros Petrounias.

“It is not” a trend  “of the time”

” The severe impact of Cyclone Janos in Kefalonia  – where I have a clearer picture – should be a good legacy of knowledge and experience for all of us, as new equally powerful phenomena will come in the Mediterranean area, as a result of climate change, which they will often show an unpredictable course but also characteristics. We must all embrace that climate change is not just a “trend” of the time as we will experience more and more its effects, as we realized with the extreme phenomenon of Cyclone “Janos”.

“The perfect tropical storm”

According to the Doctor of Geology of the University of Patras, “Ianos” was “the perfect storm “ and explains: 100 to 110km / h. Essentially above Kefalonia was found a deep barometric low, which pumped its energy through the transfer of heat from the warm waters of the Mediterranean and the release of heat during the storm near its core while presenting hybrid characteristics, ie showed similarities with tropical and exotropic cyclones “.

“One of the worst in 51 years”

According to statistical studies, Petros Petrounias makes another revelation by saying that its intensity and hybrid characteristics rank “Ianos” one of the most powerful cyclones of the last 51 years in Greece: ” An extreme characteristic of Janos was the long duration in combined with its given intensity and its hybrid characteristics that make it one of the strongest Mediterranean cyclones recorded since 1969. This phenomenon released its vortex in the coastal areas mainly as it was constantly amplified by the sea resulting in discharge on land with great intensity and duration. On the contrary in areas where the cyclone Janoswas trapped in a transverse slow motion on land between mountains then it was less intense “.

Luckier islands than inland

As he emphasizes, we are lucky that we do not mourn the dead in the Ionian and especially in Kefalonia, Ithaca, Zakynthos . In the islands the water has a bigger and easier escape to the sea while in the hinterland it needs to pass through basins with residential areas such as Karditsa“Yes, we are very lucky in Kefalonia and Ithaca that we have been satisfied only with material disasters, no matter how big they are. The most important element, which seems to have acted as a brake on a complete natural disaster, was the fact that the small hydrological basins of the island of Kefalonia discharge all the water that flows into the sea and that there are no extensive plains and inhabitable lowland areas as well. also that the technical constructions of the wider area are presented sufficiently shielded to withstand the constant seismic challenges that take place on the island “.

Why disasters took place in Assos, Fiskardo

“Nevertheless, a number of other factors seem to have had a significant impact, with different coefficients of gravity, on the evolution of the phenomenon and in particular the floods. For example, anthropogenic interventions in partially mountainous basins and streams contributed to the aggravation of the problem (Foki, Fiskardo, Assos). Especially for Asso, the situation is desperate. “A lot needs to be done in a long time for the region to recover.”

The deadly crimes

Regarding the geological peculiarities of his specialty, he said: “Anarchic tourist reconstruction, overgrazing, fire clearings, logging for firewood, and even deforestation for the creation of wind turbine parks have played their role. All the above interventions are considered responsible for the retention or not of a significant amount of water and sedimentary materials where they can prevent the conversion of watersheds into torrents where they transport to the lower topographic points large volumes of water and sediments, respectively. In particular, it is located in the wider area that there is penetration in the areas of action of each category of watercourses and disturbance of their natural balance in their riverbeds and on both sides, something that seems to have led to these extreme floods “.

“They will get worse, projects must be done”

In closing, he stressed the need to design a new and comprehensive plan for flood protection and new resilient infrastructure, otherwise the old and dilapidated infrastructure will not withstand new shocks: “In order to avoid such floods in the near future such phenomena. Initially there should be a systematic study of flood risk detection in the area taking into account:

  1. the average intensity of rainfall,
  2. the altitude,
  3. the slope of the terrain,
  4. land uses,
  5. soil erosion,
  6. the ability of the soil to absorb water and
  7. the morphology of the hydrographic network.

Then, taking into account the above study, specific anti-flood technical projects should be implemented, which will shield the island from such extreme phenomena in the future “.

source – ethnos.gr

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