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Hundreds Of Holidaymakers Evacuated After Wildfires Rage In Greece

Hundreds Of Holidaymakers Evacuated After Wildfires Rage In Greece

Hundreds of holidaymakers have been forced to leave their hotels in Greece while firefighters attempt to tackle dozens of wildfires which broke out over the weekend.

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Guest from four hotels on the island of Samos have been evacuated and moved to an indoor stadium, Greek news outlet ANA reports.

It is said to be the most serious incident of wildfires to strike the island, which has seen temperatures reach 37°C over the past couple of days as a bout of hot and dry weather continues to sweep the country.

More than 700 firefighters were sent out to attempt to get the blaze under control, which led to the evacuation of around 1,000 guests.

The coastguard rushed to Glykoriza and Proteas beaches and took tourists to a sports stadium in the town of Pythagoreio.

Hundreds of firefighters are tackling the blaze. Credit: PA
Hundreds of firefighters are tackling the blaze. Credit: PA
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Yesterday (Sunday 25 August), Greece's head of civil protection said there was a 'high risk' of fires breaking out in more places, including the southern Peloponnese region and on Crete.

Since the evacuation began, photographs and videos have been shared on social media showing helicopters and planes flying over the affected area and dropping water in a bid to put the flames out.

In a separate incident, the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported that two people in their forties were arrested in the Peloponnese for having deliberately started fires.

One of those involved is accused of having been responsible for a forest fire in the region, while the second is alleged to have started three different fires.

Earlier this month, five fires tore through the island of Evia, devastating a 'unique, untouched pine forest' which was described as a 'huge ecological disaster'.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from nearby villages after a fire broke out in the the dense forest.

Around 1,000 tourists have been evacuated from four hotels on Samos. Credit: PA
Around 1,000 tourists have been evacuated from four hotels on Samos. Credit: PA

The tragic incident saw more than 200 firefighters rush to the scene, along with 75 fire engines, nine helicopters and seven planes.

Speaking to AFP, acting regional governor Kostas Bakoyannis said: "It's a huge ecological disaster."

At the time, the British government warned holidaymakers about the danger of wildfires in the area.

A statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said: "Information on wildfires that are ongoing in the Psachna area of the island of Evia (north of Athens) and in the Corianthiakos Bay area of Thiva (north-west of Athens) - is smoke from the fire on Evia is also affecting Athens.

"Local authorities have advised that anyone with breathing difficulties should remain indoors and switch off air-conditioning units.

"If you're in affected areas, follow the advice of the Greek authorities and monitor the website of the General Secretariat for Civil Protection for updates."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Greece, World News, Interesting

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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