The Rhodes fire leads to “the largest evacuation in the history of Greece” and devours 14,000 hectares

Firefighters, volunteers and police operate as a forest fire burns near the village of Asklipieio, on the island of Rhodes, Greece.  ,

The cradle of Western civilization is today on fire. The heat wave that is suffocating Europe this summer and that has placed the mercury above 40ºC in some southern countries it has intensified forest fires that ravage greece since a couple of weeks.

On the island of Rhodes stated seven days ago a large forest fire that, despite the efforts of firefighters and extinguishing teams, does not lose intensity. have already burned more than 14,000 hectares of forestaccording to El European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).

Fanned by the high temperatures and the strong and changing windsthe fire advances without control, and the Hellenic authorities have been forced to evacuate 19,000 people during the weekend. Among them were about 7,000 tourists who had traveled to the paradisiacal island to enjoy their summer vacations. In total there are already 30,000 people who have had to escape the fire, according to firefighters.

Firefighters, volunteers and police operate as a forest fire burns near the village of Asklipieio, on the island of Rhodes, Greece. ,


Greece “at war”

This same Monday, the flames have been fanned on one of the three active fronts, the one near the town of Asklipius, in the south of the island. This has forced to evict new towns in what, according to the Greek government, is the largest evacuation operation in the country’s history.

According to local media, some 270 firefighters with 55 vehicles, eight planes and ten tanker helicopters They fight against the flames that threaten populated areas in the center, the eastern coast and the south of the island.

The situation is so critical that the prime minister of greece Kyriakos Mitsotakishas compared what the Mediterranean country is experiencing with a war. We are in war, focused exclusively on the front of the fire. We will rebuild what we lost, we will compensate those who have been hit,” the Greek head of government said this Monday during a speech before the Athens Parliament.

[El mundo se ‘cuece’ en julio: de las temperaturas “inhumanas” de Irán a los incendios de Grecia]

As the authorities have announced, thousands of tourists are still trapped on the island, housed in sports hallsmunicipal centers and hotels, while many of them are stranded at the Rhodes airport, according to the Efe agency.

Some tourists consulted by the Reuters agency detail that they have had to walk miles in scorching heat to be safe. In addition, they report that whats fires have left trees black and skeletal, and dead animals have been found on the road near burnt-out cars. “Smoke was coming. So we all set out on foot. Yesterday I walked 19 kilometers in this heat. It took me four hours,” said British tourist Chris Freestone.

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