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Planes being sent to rescue Brits from Greece as fires force tourists to flee

Planes being sent to rescue Brits from Greece as fires force tourists to flee

Many airline operators have sent rescue plans to bring Brits from Rhodes back to the UK

Planes are being sent to the Greek island of Rhodes to rescue Brits as wildfires continue to impact the popular tourist destination.

Many relatives of those on holiday on the island have been left completely in the dark as tourists have had to flee their accommodation and be helped by the already stretched local authorities.

Thousands of locals and tourists have been evacuated from the likes of Pefki, Lindos, and Kalathos, with the amount of people to be evacuated so far estimated to be around 19,000.

Greece’s fire service says that the situation could yet deteriorate further because of the expected weather.

Lieutenant Colonel Yannis Artopoios, a spokesperson for the Hellenic Fire Corps, said that these fires are the worst that the fire service has ever had to deal with.

Officials have tried to tackle the blaze.
Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Southern Europe is currently in the midst of a massive heatwave, and the fires have been spread by strong winds which have been fanning the flames since last Tuesday (18 July).

Now, planes are set to be set to the Greek island in order to help stricken Brits, with easyJet operating two repatriation flights on Monday (24 July), while another one will follow on Tuesday (25 July).

Meanwhile, Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holidays due to depart to Rhodes up to and including Sunday (30 July).

But aircrafts with no passengers on board are being sent to Rhodes so they can bring tourists back to the UK.

As for TUI, all flights and holidays heading to the island have been cancelled until Wednesday (26 July), with passengers due to be flying on those dates eligible for refunds.

The travel company has said that customers out in Rhodes will return on their intended flights home.

While they wait for the rescue planes to come in, many tourists have been sleeping at the airport, as well as less comfortable places like school sports halls and conference centres.

Tourists have been sleeping on sports hall floors.

Many have devastatingly lost all of their belongings as they fled on foot in the more than 40 degree heat as fires raged from the centre of the island towards the eastern side.

Such area is extremely popular with Brits with many hotels situated along the stretch of coast.

It comes as evacuations began on the nearby Greek island of Corfu as wildfires continue spread on the neighbouring holiday hotspot.

Around 59 people have been evacuated from Nissaki beach on the northwest coast, the Greek Coast Guard said.

Tourists and locals in the areas of Santa, Magoula, Porta, Palia, Perithia and Sinies were told to leave on Sunday evening (23 July).

Featured Image Credit: SPYROS BAKALIS/AFP via Getty Images/WILL VASSILOPOULOS/AFP via Getty Images)

Topics: News, Travel, UK News