• Thursday, Sep 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:08 pm

Greece fights fires during 'worst heatwave since 1987'

  • Published at 04:36 pm August 2nd, 2021
Greece Wildfire
Firefighters work on a wildfire, in Labiri, near Patras, on July 31, 2021 AFP

A heatwave across Southern Europe also fed destructive fires in Turkey, Spain and Italy during the weekend

Firefighters were battling two large wildfires in Greece on Monday, as the prime minister said the country was suffering its worst heatwave in more than three decades.

Fires have also raged across Turkey, Spain and Italy over the weekend with experts warning climate change was increasing both the frequency and intensity of such blazes.

More than 3,000 hectares of pine and olive groves have been torched by a fire that broke out on Saturday near the city of Patras, 200 kilometres west of Athens, according to the National Observatory of Athens citing EU satellite images.

And the authorities were rushing to bolster crews fighting a blaze on the island of Rhodes near Turkey.


Also Read: Fires rage across southern Europe, forcing hundreds to evacuate


"We are facing the worst heatwave since 1987," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, adding that the authorities were doing "everything possible" to deal with the situation.

After meeting electricity providers, he warned that the brutal heat was putting a strain on the power network and asked for Greeks to limit their consumption in the early afternoon and during the night.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said that there had been 1,584 fires across Greece in July compared to 953 in 2019, and that there had been 116 new blazes in just the last 24 hours.

"We are no longer talking about climate change but about a climate threat," he told Star TV.

The fire near Patras was not fully under control on Monday, the country's weather service told the ANA news agency.


Also Read: Death toll in Turkey wildfires rises to eight, coastal resorts affected


And temperatures of up to 45°C have been forecast for nearby areas, posing new risks for land already parched by the heatwave.

Officials have evacuated five villages and a seaside town and eight people have been hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems.

Help sent to Rhodes

However, officials were optimistic that a fire on the island of Rhodes, near the Turkish coast, was on the back foot after more firefighters and resources were deployed overnight.

"Dawn finds Rhodes much better than the day before," South Aegean Governor George Hatzimarkos said in a statement.

He added that the fronts of the fire were receding and "almost under control."

More than 100 firefighters, helped by 20 vehicles, three planes and six helicopters, were sent to Rhodes on Monday morning, officials said.

Dozens more firefighters and 14 vehicles were due to arrive from Athens later in the day.

Firefighters evacuated a central area on the island known as "the Valley of the Butterflies" popular with hikers and tourists on Sunday.

Temperatures of between 40 and 42°C have been forecast for the island in the coming days, with the heatwave expected to peak on Monday and today.

Nearby Turkey is suffering its worst fires in at least a decade, claiming the lives of eight people and forcing hundreds to evacuate in southern areas popular with tourists.

50
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