As wildfires ravage Greece, countries send aid

ATHENS – Firefighters battled fires across Greece on Tuesday after a difficult night on the island of Evia , northeast of the capital At...


ATHENS – Firefighters battled fires across Greece on Tuesday after a difficult night on the island of Evia, northeast of the capital Athens, where locals rallied with garden hoses and buckets in a desperate effort to save their homes.

Forest fires were also still burning in neighboring Turkey, where at least eight people have died, as well as in Italy and other parts of southern Europe where a record-breaking heat wave created unusually dry conditions and sparked a debate on the damage caused by climate change. .

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address on Monday evening that authorities were doing “everything humanly possible” to put out fires across the country, which he called “a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions”. The fires have destroyed more than 200,000 acres of forests in Greece, according to the meteorological service of the Athens National Observatory, Meteo, with areas of major concern over Evia and the southern Peloponnese peninsula.

In Evia, many residents have defied government calls to evacuate their villages, joining forces with firefighters in an attempt to contain the raging fires. Some used tree branches to stomp the flames.

Others formed a human chain with fire hoses between the villages of Avgaria and Kamaria on Monday evening and managed to save their homes. A large contingent of firefighters remained in the region on Tuesday to avoid a possible reignition.

Fires broke out again in several other villages, including Gouves, Galatsades and Kastri, as local authorities sent bulldozers to dig further firewalls. Authorities on Tuesday issued a new evacuation call for the village of Asminio and church bells rang to alert residents to flee.

Many residents and local officials have actively joined the firefighting efforts after complaining that their calls for help went unheeded.

The prime minister is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday to assess the consequences of the fires and detail his government’s plans to overhaul fire prevention. Officials were due to announce their support for the victims at a press conference later Tuesday.

More than 20 countries have sent their support to Greece’s besieged firefighters.

Firefighters and engines from Poland and Slovakia joined forces on the ground in Evia on Monday evening and French and German reinforcements were due to arrive on Tuesday to help fight the fires in the Peloponnese peninsula, according to Spyros Georgiou, spokesman for the Peloponnese peninsula. Greek Civil Protection Secretariat.

Two planes from Israel were also due to arrive on Tuesday and two more planes and two helicopters from Russia were also expected later today, he said.

Several people have been arrested in connection with the multiple fires – some for arson, others for negligently starting the fires.

Greece’s Supreme Court prosecutor Vasilios Pliotas on Monday called on police and firefighters to investigate possible evidence indicating the existence of an arson plan organized by a criminal organization, citing the ” excessively high number of fires of unusual intensity and extent “and the fact that many broke out simultaneously.

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Newsrust - US Top News: As wildfires ravage Greece, countries send aid
As wildfires ravage Greece, countries send aid
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