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After Rhodes, Corfu and Evia launch evacuations due to devastating wildfires!

fires greece news
 
Firefighters struggled through the night to contain 82 wildfires across Greece - 64 of which started on Sunday. Corfu and Evia have become the latest Greek islands to order evacuations, as "nightmare" wildfires sweep through the country. 
 
 
HDN Newsroom
 
On Sunday, people in Corfu's areas of Santa, Megoula, Porta, Palia, Perithia and Sinies were told to leave, with dispatching boats to the scene. 
 
So far nearly 2,500 have been educated, said a spokesperson for the fire service on Monday. 
 
 Parts of Evia, off central Greece's eastern coast, were also evacuated, with the searing heat showing no signs of letting up. 
 
Firefighting planes and helicopters have worked tirelessly to tackle the blazes, supported by teams from across Europe. 
 
The most serious fire was on the island of Rhodes, which burnt for a sixth day on Sunday. 
 
Some 19,000 have already been forced to leave several locations on the island, Greek authorities said. 
  
The Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection said it was “the largest evacuation from a wildfire in the country.”
 
A firefighting helicopter flies over a beach during a forest fire on the island of Rhodes, Greece, Saturday, July 22, 2023.Argyris Mantikos/AP
Local police said 16,000 people were evacuated by land and 3,000 by sea from 12 villages and several hotels on Rhodes. Six people were briefly treated at a hospital for respiratory problems.
 
A number of tourists were waiting to fly back home from Rhodes International Airport.
 
The package holiday companies TUI and Jet2 cancelled flights to the island. But the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport later announced that 14 TUI and Jet2 flights carrying 2,700 passengers would depart from Rhodes Airport by 3 am Monday.
 
On Saturday and early Sunday, 70,000 passengers travelled through the airport, with some being arrivals, the ministry said. The announcement did not break down the figures by arrivals and departures.
 
The British ambassador to Greece, Matthew Lodge, said the U.K. government was sending a rapid deployment team to support British nationals on Rhodes.
 
The weather remained hot in the Mediterranean country on Sunday. A total of 180 locations experienced temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius and above. The highest reading, 46.4 C, was reached at the seaside town of Gytheio in southern Greece.
 
Of the 64 wildfires that broke out elsewhere in the country Sunday, the most serious was on Evia, Greece's second-largest island, where authorities told residents of four southern villages to evacuate to the town of Karystos, west of where the fire was advancing.
 
Central Greece Vice Governor Giorgos Kelaiditis, who was near one of the villages, told state agency ANA-MPA that the situation is difficult:
 
“The fire may be 2 kilometres away, but the wind is strong, the growth is low, the smoke thick and the air is hard to breathe,” he said.
 
Other fires requiring evacuations broke out on the northeast side of the island of Corfu and in the northern Peloponnese, near the town of Aigio. Traffic on the old Athens-Patras national road, running across the coast, has been cut off.
 
Just before midnight, authorities called for more evacuations from Corfu and the northern Peloponnese. In the case of Corfu, they said the fire was “moving southeast on a broad front” and added that private vessels were on standby to pick up evacuees.
 
A fire that broke out west of the important archaeological site of Epidaurus, including a famous ancient theatre, has been partly contained, the Fire Service said.