Status: 04.08.2021 10:14 am
Firefighters, helicopters and firefighters are still working to contain the blaze in the suburbs of Athens. The smoke is very strong, the visibility is only a few hundred meters.
Firefighters in Greece are battling a major fire in the northern suburbs of Athens. “This is a terrible fire on the outskirts of the city,” Prime Minister Kyriagos Mitsodakis said after a tour of the affected area.
At the first light of day, helicopters and planes were used to control the fire. The wind had subsided for now. “We hope to be able to bring the fire under control today before the wind starts again,” a fire department official said on state television.
The strong smell in the city
Due to heavy smoke and silence in Athens, the view was only a few hundred meters in the morning. A stench also bothered the people in the city. The ashes fell on the houses. “Stay home. All windows should be closed,” the Civil Defense called on the people.
Excellent dust values increased drastically. Meanwhile, the Greek Health Commission announced that the best dust pollution for the city center would be up to 465 micrograms per cubic meter. For comparison: the EU-level limit value is 50 micrograms per day on average per cubic meter of air. Much of the city has been affected as the wind blew smoke bubbles southward across the city center.
Thousands are fleeing the fire
Several thousand people were evacuated from their homes yesterday in a wildfire north of Athens. Many villages were evacuated. The fire first covered the forest and bush zone and reached residential areas near Dato ‘, 20 kilometers north of the capital.
Houses have caught fire – residents have fled the area in panic.
People, covered in thick smoke, set off for Athens in cars and motorcycles. About 500 firefighters were on duty against the major fire. Civil Defense Chief Nicos Hartalias described the situation as “extremely dangerous”: “We are fighting for hours, and our priority is to save human lives.” According to firefighters, seven planes, five helicopters and 70 fire trucks were involved in the firefight.
The fire department said part of the highway connecting Athens to the north and south of the country had to be closed due to a fire at the foot of the Burnita mountain range. Dozens of children were also brought safely to a nearby holiday camp, according to media reports.
Heat burning until the weekend
In addition, extreme temperatures of 43 to 44 degrees are expected again in Athens today. The Center for Meteorology announced that the glowing heat will continue until the end of the week.
Fires also broke out on the Beloponnese Peninsula and the holiday islands of Rhodes and Kos and Evia. In all, firefighters battled 40 major burns across the country, as the Civil Defense announced earlier in the evening. Hundreds of homes were burned or damaged, according to initial estimates.
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