Wildfires in Greece: Evia island residents forced to flee as wildfires continue to rip the Greek Island
Greece Wildfires: Evia which is a large island to the north and east of Athens has been facing two fire fronts that have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, along with a number of businesses and houses.
Greece Wildfires: The deadly wildfires are continuing to rip through Evia Island in Greece, prompting residents of the island to flee to safety by sea. More than 2,000 people from the island have been evacuated, with elderly residents carried on to the ferries.
As per the local officials, more help was needed to fight the fires that have destroyed the parts of the island. The European Union has informed that it has mobilized one of the biggest responses to tackle the wildfires affecting Greece and several other European nations.
Greece and its neighbouring Turkey have been battling the devastating blazes for nearly two weeks now as the region suffers its worst heatwave in decades. In Greece, temperatures have risen to 45C (113F).
A number of wildfires have struck Greece in recent days. One blaze which was in the northern suburb of Athens is said to have subsided.
Heatwaves, such as in Greece and Turkey, are becoming more likely and more extreme because of the human-induced climate change and the subsequent dry-hot weather is likely behind fueling the wildfires.
Wildfires burning on Evia Island in Greece:
Evia which is a large island to the north and east of Athens has been facing two fire fronts that have destroyed thousands of hectares of land, along with a number of businesses and houses.
Firefighters have also been struggling to keep fires at bay in a number of villages on the island. Images have shown more people being evacuated including the elderly people which can be seen carried on to the ferries.
With no signs of fire subsiding, officials and residents have been calling for more help. The Mayor of the Municipality of Istiaia in the northern part of Evia Island informed that it is already too late and the area has been destroyed.
The mayor, Giannis Kontzias further appealed for more help from water-bombing planes and helicopters.
However, Civil Protection Chief Nikos Hardalias stated that planes faced a number of problems including the poor visibility caused by the fires.
People facing distress due to wildfires:
Some people have been finding it hard to breathe as there is so much smoke and ash in the air.
Reportedly, people on Evia Island are on high alert and there is also a lot of distress. There is also a feeling among people that the authorities are letting them down and not helping enough, however, the government says it is doing all it can.
Countries respond to Greece’s call for help:
A number of nations have responded to Greece’s call for help including Germany, France, and the UK.
The European Union stated that the member countries have deployed 9 planes, close to 200 vehicles, and 1,000 firefighters to Greece.
Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the countries that had sent the assistance and thanked the countries for standing by Greece during these trying times.
On behalf of the Greek people, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the countries that have sent assistance and resources to help fight the wildfires. We thank you for standing by Greece during these trying times. pic.twitter.com/POrWlIVJsU— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 8, 2021
Wildfires in Greece and Turkey: What is the present situation?
• In Greece, fires in the Peloponnese region are reportedly stable and the fires in the Northern Athens Suburb have also subsided.
• The situation in Attica (which encompasses Athens) is better but there is still a danger of flare-ups. The military has also been patrolling the area amid concerns that the fire can restart.
• Turkey has also been battling a series of wildfires which have also been labeled as the worst in the country’s history. Eight people died and thousands have been forced to flee their homes.
• According to Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister, Bekir Pakdemirli, 235 fires had been contained and 5 were still ongoing.