High winds forecasted for Sunday are expected to hinder firefighters’ efforts to contain an out-of-control blaze on the Greek island of Rhodes. About 30,000 people have been forced to evacuate as a result.
The flames have been burning for nearly a week on Rhodes, as Greece has been experiencing a prolonged period of extreme heat, making it difficult to control the fire.
Local officials on Rhodes reported on Saturday that they had successfully moved 30,000 people at risk of the wildfires to safety. This includes over 2,500 individuals who had to be evacuated from the beaches.
“The wind is expected to pick up intensity between 12 pm and 5 pm, and it could happen earlier,” said Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis, spokesman for the fire department.
The fires have reached the village of Laerma during the night, resulting in the destruction of houses and a church, and causing damage to several hotels as the flames even reached the sea in some areas.
Authorities have warned that it will take several days to bring the ongoing wildfires under control. Yannis Artopoios, another spokesperson for the fire brigade, stated that the main areas affected by the fire are located south of the village of Apollon.
On Saturday, thousands of people, both locals and tourists, were evacuated from six different villages. The foreign ministry in Athens activated its crisis management unit to support the evacuation of foreign citizens affected by the forest fires in Greece.
Tourists and some locals spent the night in gyms, schools, and hotel conference centers as firefighters continued to battle the blaze. Additionally, three passenger ferries have been stationed at the port of Rhodes to accommodate those who have been rescued.
Panagiotis Dimelis, head of the Archangelos village council, described the situation as unprecedented for the island. He mentioned that many locals had rushed to assist the stranded tourists.
When the evacuation alert was issued in the afternoon, tourists quickly headed to the beach, dragging their suitcases behind them.
A significant portion of the island is currently without electricity, as the local power plant in the south has been shut down for safety reasons.
Over 200 firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night, and aerial support began early on Sunday.
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Denial of responsibility! Samachar Central is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.