Great fires are spreading in Greece and Turkey. Ashes fall in the Athens metropolis, with firefighters urging residents not to leave their homes.
In Greece, wildfires spread for the fifth day in a row. On Saturday the fire spread throughout the suburbs of Athens. Overnight, strong winds engulfed the city of Trachomacdones, where several houses were burned. Thousands of people have escaped the blaze on Mount Bernita on the outskirts of Athens since Thursday. Hundreds of people were evacuated by boat from the island of Evia east of the capital. Initially there was no information about the victims.
City of millions Athens The fire brings dangerous winds. Due to the heavy smoke, the stench spreads throughout the city and the ash continues to fall for a third day. “Do not leave the house with all windows closed,” officials called on residents. A fire broke out overnight in the northern part of the Greek capital. “If we can’t control the fire today, we will have a big problem,” the lieutenant governor in charge of civil defense told state television on Saturday morning that Vasilis Kokalis was a large Athenian.
Smoke and ash north of Athens: Thousands already had to flee their homes. (Source: Petros Kardgias / AB / DPA)
Suspects of arson were arrested
As the night and early morning winds subside, the fire brigade has a “window of time” to contain the fire in northern Athens. Meanwhile, the suspects in the Cocalis fire confirmed that three people had been arrested.
Greece has been plagued by massive heat waves for more than 30 years. Temperatures hovered above 40 degrees Celsius throughout the week. Numerous wildfires have erupted across the country – more than 400 in the last 24 hours. The worst fire was in northern Athens, on the island of Evia and on the Peloponnese peninsula. Tens of thousands of hectares of forest, numerous homes and businesses have already been destroyed. One person was killed on Friday near Athens.
A farmer brings cattle to safety near Athens. Wildfires are still spreading in Greece and Turkey. (Source: Giorgos Out Topis / Reuters)
More than 700 firefighters were on duty. Not only did they fight the fire, but they also struggled with high heat and wind, which ignited the flames. The Greek fire brigade received support from Cyprus, France and Israel.
16 Israeli and 100 Ukrainian firefighters and 82 rescue personnel and two firefighters were reported from France. 40 firefighters and two airmen are coming from Cyprus. Switzerland sent three fire helicopters, Sweden with two firefighters, as well as 112 firefighters and 23 vehicles in Romania.
So far, no help has been sought from Germany
Germany has not yet sent any aid to the damaged area – but is currently testing whether a federal government can send fire services to Greece. Greece, Albania, Italy, northern Macedonia and Turkey have all called for EU support since the fire broke out, according to the Union Interior Ministry. The federal government was also asked for help directly. However, a ministry spokesman said Friday that most of the questions were about non-existent fire-fighting aircraft from Germany.
In Turkey the whole village was burned
There have been numerous wildfires in Turkey and Sicily. So far tens of thousands of people have had to be brought to safety in southwestern Turkey. Coastal areas, especially in the south and west, have been badly affected for several days and the fire continues to threaten many places. In the western Turkish city of Mughal, people have been evacuated to safety since Friday evening, according to local officials in the Kyrgyz district, where emergency services are not retiring. Again, firefighters must protect a power station from fires and remove flammable materials, state news agency Anatolia reported.
The situation in Andalia, south of Turkey, is now calm. However, the fire there wreaked havoc. The whole village was burnt to ashes. The Disaster Management Authority set up Afat containers as emergency camps. At the same time, anger at the government is growing. Since the fire started last week, criticism of their crisis management has been raised again and again.
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