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Winter in a Middle Eastern Island

Cyprus weather is changing

· Cyprus storms weathe

Cyprus has never been so green. In April, usually the mountainsides have their wild flowers but the bare rock is showing through, too. This year, though, everywhere is a dense, lush carpet of green. And the reason, of course, is that this island tucked into the far east corner of the Med, rubbing shoulders with Turkey and Syria, has had its wettest winter for more than a hundred years. One couple last week found themselves trapped in a half-submerged car being swept in a torrent down a major road. The cause? Five times the average March rainfall fell in just 24 hours. Roads have been washed away, walls have crumbled, cars have floated out to sea, houses have been flooded. That couple was lucky. They were rescued unlike the four students who were killed in similar circumstances four months ago.

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If there were still any doubts about climate change, surely the experience of this island would be enough to overturn them? It is, after all, a place where the main problem is lack of water. It's a parched region. As a result, there are regular forest fires and in the summer water sometimes simply runs out or is rationed to a few hours a day. All the more surprising, then, that spring pushes on with such force. So this weekend it's time for the Asparagus Festival on Saturday and the Artichoke Festival on Sunday – with music, dancing and, of course, vegetables.

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And, because in spite of all this atrocious weather, spring comes early to Cyprus, we're already in peak strawberry season, too. The only problem is that the forecast in the local paper promises torrential rain later today and tomorrow. Time to batten down the hatches again...

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