The fires are once again raging in Greece for the second time in a month. They have already claimed at least two lives and forced many residents to evacuate.
Greece is once again experiencing deadly fires. This new wave of fires has already caused the death of at least two people on Tuesday, August 22, and the evacuation of numerous individuals.
Uncontrolled flames are spreading in the northeast of the country, the islands of Euboea near Athens and Kythnos, as well as in the Boeotia region north of Athens, with a dangerous mix of strong winds and temperatures reaching up to 41°C.
“There are nine active fronts,” declared a spokesperson for the firefighters to AFP. “It is a situation similar to that of July,” she added, referring to a previous wave of fires that claimed five lives.
On Monday evening, an evacuation order was given for the hospital in Alexandroupolis, a port city in northeastern Greece located in an area where the fires have been raging for the fourth consecutive day. The coast guard reported having evacuated 65 patients to a ferry that was waiting in the port.
In the center of the island of Euboea, an evacuation was ordered on Monday evening in the industrial town of Nea Artaki where the fire damaged poultry and pig farms.
Greece experienced its worst heatwave for the month of July
The flames also threatened the Dadia National Park in the north of the country, where the body of an undocumented migrant was discovered on Monday evening. An elderly shepherd was also found dead earlier on Monday in Boeotia.
The Dadia Park, located near Alexandroupolis, is one of the largest protected areas in Europe, hosting rare birds and being the only breeding site for black vultures in the Balkans.
The European Union announced that it is deploying two firefighting planes based in Cyprus and a Romanian team of firefighters through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The very hot and dry conditions, which increase the risk of fires, will persist in Greece until Friday, according to meteorological services.
On July 18, a fire fueled by strong winds ravaged nearly 17,770 hectares in ten days in the south of Rhodes, a popular tourist island in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Approximately 20,000 people, mainly tourists, had to be evacuated.
At the end of July, the country experienced its worst heatwave for such a month, with temperatures exceeding 40°C in many places, according to the National Observatory of Athens. AFP