Flames sweep Greece for fifth day in “Nightmarish Summer”


A town near Athens was swept by a hellish fire overnight. Hundreds of people were rescued and taken out of town by ferry from the island of Evia as the fires spread across Greece consecutively for the fifth day on Saturday. The fire had initially begun on Evia, east of the capital on Tuesday, and zoned into several fronts, tearing apart 1000s of acres of pristine forest. Then it spread to the northern part of the island due to which the villagers had to evacuate. As seen by Saturday, more than 400 wildfires had broken out in the last 24 hours. The biggest of them all was burning in Evia where it all began. It was the second biggest Greek island. Then the fire continued to various areas in the Peloponnese, including Ancient Olympia, the site of the first Olympic games.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the prime minister of Greece. According to him, this is a “nightmarish summer”. He declared that the government’s priority “has been, first and foremost, to protect human lives.” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikis Hardalias said during an emergency briefing, “we are fighting a very big battle, Under no circumstances can we be complacent.”

This wildfire that erupted in Evia was one of the strongest compared to the others in the 30-year history. This heatwave destroyed homes and businesses, killed animals, and uprooted acres of forestland. There was a fire on Mount Parnitha as well. It is on the outskirts of Athens. It forced the evacuation of 1000s of people since late Thursday. By god’s grace, it was seen that the fire receded by Saturday afternoon. However, there is still one major problem. The winds blowing across the mountain were strengthening, which meant a high chance that the fires would flare again. On Friday night, the winds were so strong that the fire was pushed into the town of Thrakomakedones. It is situated in the north of Athens. Here it burned down a huge number of houses, there were no casualties and the citizens were asked to evacuate the place. A resident of this place said, “it is really bad. All of Greece has burned”

After the fire moved forward towards Turkey, what was left behind were blackened houses and cars and scorched pine trees. There was a cloud of smoke that was hovering over the capital. Turkey is also fighting the same fire.

To help Greece, Germany sent 216 firefighters and 44 vehicles. These are expected to arrive in three to four days. This was tweeted by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance. People living in the north of Athens were forced to leave their homes with only a few belongings or rather the bare essentials that they could carry. “Our business, our home, all of our property is there. I hope they don’t burn,” said Yorgos Papaioannou, 26 years old, while he sat with his girlfriend in the parking lot with ashes falling around them from the smoke-filled sky.

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