It’s proving to be a tough winter for Greece, as increasing snowfall and low temperatures continue from the north of Europe.

State services have been on high alert keeping citizens safe and transport moving, as major roads across the country face closures and mountain villages are cut off.

Temperatures in northern Greece have plummeted as low as minus 19 degrees Celsius in Florina and minus 16 in Nevrokopi in Drama, resulting in a number of schools cancelling classes.

In Thessaloniki temperatures reached minus 8 degrees Celsius, which saw the water supply cut off from thousands of homes across the city, also affecting the PPC’s power station in Kardia leaving 14,000 homes in Ptolemaida without heating.

Meanwhile the Corinth-Patras highway was also shut down due to heavy snowfall.

The hardest hit areas however have been the Greek islands. A state of emergency was declared in Skopelos with the same expected for neighbouring Alonissos, the snow reaching as far as Crete, with temperatures dropping to minus 14 in Chania making car movement near impossible.

In an interview with Athens Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Civil Protection General Secretary Yiannis Kapakis reassured citizens that authorities were doing and will continue to do their best as the extreme conditions continue.

“We are on standby to deal with the bad weather and our goal is to do everything humanly possible to avoid problems,” Mr Kapakis said.

“As long as the bad weather continues, the entire civil protection mechanism and all forces involved will remain on standby.”

Extreme low temperatures are expected to continue over the next few days.