Extreme heat continues in Greece – new fires erupt

Firefighters battle a blaze near Athens. Photo: cornerstone

Inferno near Athens: Thousands evacuated due to wildfires

After a major fire broke out in the north of the Greek capital Athens, four large towns were evacuated. Thousands of people had to seek refuge in other parts of the Greek capital. The state provided these people with hotel rooms for the coming nights.

Several firefighting planes and helicopters battled the uncontrollable flames until the last light of day. Then only the ground forces remained in action. “Our primary goal is to save human lives,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoides said after a crisis meeting on state television.

A forest fire ignites north of Athens. Photo: cornerstone

A fire broke out between homes in the Athens suburbs of Faribopi and Charnes on Tuesday evening. Some homes were set on fire, state television (ERT) showed. Fires also broke out on the island of Evia, the Peloponnese peninsula and the holiday islands of Kos and Rhodes. A civil defense spokesman said 40 fires broke out across the country on Tuesday evening. There was no information about the victims.

The flames are making their way across the outskirts of Athens. Photo: cornerstone

Residents left the affected areas in panic. “Hell is behind us,” one resident shouted from his car to reporters at the scene. The region’s governor, Giorgos Patoulis, announced that the fire was spreading rapidly from forest to populated areas and called on all people to leave the area where the fire broke out immediately. For days, weather experts had feared fires of this magnitude.

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Thick streams of smoke were seen from all over Athens. Ash fell on the city. Clouds of smoke extended far into the Aegean Sea, as evidenced by satellite images. For days, weather experts had feared fires of this magnitude. completely Greece I was exposed to a historical heat wave over a week ago. In Athens, thermometers recorded 44 degrees on Tuesday. 47 degrees were measured in Langadas near Thessaloniki. In this severe drought, even the smallest fire can spiral out of control.

Fires in Rhodes too

The fire brigade also fought Tuesday night on the island of Rhodes against a fire in a forest and trees in a valley near the village of Maritsa, and the village had to be evacuated. Tourist facilities were not threatened. There were also smaller fires on the Peloponnese peninsula and on the Greek-Turkish border on the Evros River, the fire brigade announced. So far, there have been no casualties or injuries.

In light of the drought, the risk of a massive fire would be even after this heat wave was over, meteorologists warned: If winds blow, devastating fires could occur. In the summer Especially in August there are frequent strong winds in the Aegean, known as Etesia or Meltemi. Although they bring refreshments, they can easily start fires, which can quickly get out of control, weather experts have confirmed on state television. Dozens were killed in Greece in 2007 after a similar period of drought and heat followed by winds Life.

Meteorologists expect at least a slight dip in temperatures to maximum values ​​of around 38 degrees by the end of next week. Then you should also start the Etesien or Meltemi winches. (aeg/sda/dpa)

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