July 23 () –
At least 30,000 people have had to be evacuated from the large Greek island of Rhodes since the declaration six days ago of a massive fire with multiple sources, of which at least three are still out of control.
Last night, 2,000 tourists left the island in various boats from two beaches on the island, according to the spokesman for the Fire Service Yannis Artopios. The operation, which has taken place “without incidents”, he explains to the Greek newspaper ‘Kathimerini’, has had the assistance of three Coast Guard boats, boats from the Greek Army Special Forces and 30 private sailboats.
The high temperatures and the constant changes in the wind are making the work of the 266 firefighters, 16 Infantry units, 49 vehicles and seven planes that are fighting the flames difficult. The fire has forced the entire evacuation of towns such as Lindos, Kalathos or Pefka. Other areas such as Kiotari or Gennari have also started this process in the last few hours.
Speaking earlier to SKAI, another Fire Department representative, Vasilis Vathrakogiannis, has explained that the fire is hugely complex as there are many outbreaks scattered around its perimeter, which is consuming mainly the center and east of the island. The main front is a triangle ten kilometers on each side that stretches from the sea to the mountains.
Vathrakogiannis has anticipated that the containment efforts will take days to take effect, especially since temperatures will continue to exceed 30ºC throughout the coming week.