- The major fires north of Athens were partially contained. According to the authorities, there are currently only two firing fronts.
- However, fires continue to burn uncontrollably in the Peloponnese and Evia. The fight against fire continues in Turkey.
- On Saturday morning, three Super Pumas left Switzerland for Greece to help with the firefighting work.
“Last night was really a hell, a nightmare. We have made tremendous efforts to prevent the fire from spreading to populated areas,” Pappas said. “Thousands of evacuees can return soon — provided their homes are not burned down. But it must be done slowly,” he said. With great caution.”
Those who fled the fires in the past few days are currently staying at state expense in hotels or with friends and relatives. In many areas affected by the fire, there is still no electricity or water.
Fires in several Greek islands
On the island of Euboea, nearly 2,000 residents of Limni were evacuated by ferry because the land route was cut off by the fire. The Peloponnese peninsula and Crete in the far south of the country and cities like Griffina in the north are also affected by the fires that raged for several days after long periods of heat and drought.
According to the authorities’ estimate, the fire has so far destroyed an area of 600 square kilometers across Greece – roughly the size of Lake Geneva.
Athena suffocates in dangerous weather
Due to the thick smoke, the Greek city stinks and ash falls on the third day in a row. And the authorities called on residents to “close all windows and do not go out of the house.” Fires burned all night in northern Athens. “If we do not succeed in containing the fires today, we will have a big problem,” said the deputy governor in charge of civil defense for the greater Athens region, Asilis Kokkalis.
The winds have eased at night and early in the morning, and there is a “time window” for firefighters to control the fires in northern Athens, it was said. On the other hand, Kocalis confirmed that three suspected suspects have been arrested.
Swiss aid on the go
Switzerland responded to an international request for help from the Greek authorities and sent three Super Puma military helicopters and 40 military personnel to Athens on Saturday. You are supposed to arrive in Greece early in the evening. The first firefighting operations are scheduled to begin from Sunday.
An advance detachment had already traveled to Greece in advance in order to create conditions for the deployment of the helicopter and to ensure coordination with the authorities. This team is made up of members of the Swiss Federal Humanitarian Aid Corps, fire specialists from the Genie/Rescue/ABC Teaching Association and members of the Air Force.
According to the Greek Civil Defense, the first international aid workers will take action on Saturday. Sweden sends two fire engines to the region. Romania There are 112 firefighters and 23 vehicles. It is also expected that 16 Israeli firefighters and 100 Ukrainians, as well as 82 rescue workers and two firefighting planes, will be from France. 40 firefighters and two pilots from Cyprus. Germany has not yet sent any aid to the stricken area – but it is currently being checked whether a federal country can send firefighting forces to Greece.
In Turkey, more than 5,000 emergency services are battling fires. Coastal areas in the south and west of the country have been particularly hard hit by the fires for days. The fires spread to Koycegiz and Milas in Turkey’s western province of Mugla overnight, local authorities said. And orders were issued to evacuate several neighborhoods.
There are still 13 wildfires burning out of control in the country, Forestry Minister Bekir Bakdemirli announced on Twitter. The authorities were only able to give all the clarity to Antalya in southern Turkey: all fires are under control. So far, the fire has claimed at least eight lives.
Fires also in Sicily and Sardinia
The popular holiday island in southern Italy is also on fire. The regional government in Sicily declared a state of emergency and crisis due to forest fires. Explaining the decision, regional president Nilo Musumechi said that a fire has been raging in Sicily since the end of July, and in the coming weeks there will be a permanent danger due to the unusual weather conditions on the island.
And in Sardinia, the fire brigade in the province of Oristano reported a fire at a tourist residence on Saturday morning. According to their statements, emergency services prevented the flames from spreading to the surrounding vegetation. So there were no injuries. In Oristano on the west coast, several wildfires have recently erupted and caused extensive damage.
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