• Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:06 am

Fires rage across southern Europe, forcing hundreds to evacuate

  • Published at 09:42 pm August 1st, 2021
Turkey Fire Europe
A firefighter extinguishes a forest fire near the town of Manavgat, east of the resort city of Antalya, Turkey, July 30, 2021 Reuters

Turkey has been hit by 133 wildfires in 2021 so far compared with an average of 43 by this point in the year between 2008 and 2020

Dozens of villages were evacuated in tourist hotspots in southern Turkey on Sunday as wildfires that have claimed six lives raged for the fifth day, while Greece, Italy and Spain were also hit by blazes.

Fanned by soaring temperatures, strong winds and climate change -- which experts say increases both the frequency and intensity of such blazes -- this year's fire season has been significantly more destructive than the previous average, EU data shows.

Turkey is suffering through its worst fires in at least a decade with nearly 95,000 hectares burnt so far this year, compared with an average of 13,516 at this point in the year between 2008 and 2020.

A neighbourhood in the tourist city of Bodrum has been evacuated, CNN Turk broadcaster reported, as flames were fanned by strong winds from the nearby Milas district.

Unable to leave by road, 540 residents were taken to hotels by boats, the channel said. There were more evacuations in the resort city of Antalya, NTV broadcaster reported. After hitting record levels last month, temperatures are set to remain high in the region.

A temperature of 49.1°C was recorded in the south-eastern town of Cizre on July 20. And the mercury is expected to reach 40°C in Antalya on Monday.

Turkey's defence ministry released satellite images showing the extent of the damage, with forest areas turned black and smoke still visible.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticized after it emerged that Turkey had no firefighting planes despite one-third of its territory being forested and fires becoming an increasing problem.

According to EU figures, Turkey has been hit by 133 wildfires in 2021 so far compared with an average of 43 by this point in the year between 2008 and 2020.

Greek 'catastrophe'

Firefighters were also battling fires in Greece, after a major blaze broke out early Saturday near Patras in the west.

Five villages have been evacuated and eight people hospitalized with burns and respiratory problems in the region, which remains on alert.

Around 20 homes have been burnt down, according to a provisional figure from the fire brigade.

The mayor of nearby village Aigialeias, Dimitris Kalogeropoulos, called it "an immense catastrophe."

Around 30 houses, barns and stables were consumed by flames in the villages of Ziria, Kamares, Achaias and Labiri.

"We slept outside overnight, terrified that we would not have a house when we woke up," a Labiri resident told Greek TV station Skai.

The seaside resort of Loggos was also evacuated, with nearly 100 residents and tourists sent to the nearby city of Aigio. 

According to EU data, 13,500 hectares had been burnt in Greece, compared with an average of 7,500 at this point in the year from 2008-2020.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail