As firefighters in Greece tried to put out many fires that broke out in hot, dry conditions, dramatic television footage showed desperate residents using water cannons to try to put out the area. arid land in the seaside resorts south of Athens as thick gray smoke rises above.
Thousands of people fled their homes in villages south, west and north of Athens, the Greek capital, on Monday, and authorities evacuated more points from three children’s camps and a nursing home. The disturbing footage also shows The horse was led out of the burning stable as other animals cry out of fear or pain.
On Tuesday, state television broadcast footage of burned houses and charred cars in coastal villages southeast of Athens, where an estimated 7,400 acres of forested land have burned.
Water-dropping planes resumed their flights at first light after a night in which firefighters managed to contain a third of the four major fires raging south and west of Athens one day. days earlier. Yiannis Artopios, a spokesman for the Greek fire brigade, said a total of 20 planes were supporting the efforts of 250 firefighters to put out the massive fire in Dervenohoria, about 30 miles north of Athens.
He said evacuation orders had been issued for several other villages in the area, and described the fire in Dervenohoria as “outstanding” and most worrisome.
The Greek military is supporting the efforts of firefighters and other rescue services, and the European Union is also helping. It sent four firefighting planes, the bloc’s crisis management commissioner, Janez Lenarcic, say on Twitter.
Mr. Artopios urged people in the country to avoid any activity that could trigger more fires, warning that the combination of dry conditions, strong winds and rising temperatures meant the coming days would “very difficult”.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday urged people to leave the affected areas, saying the first priority was to save lives and that the damage would be compensated.
“We’ve got fires, we have them now and we’ll have them in the future, and this is one of the consequences of the climate crisis that we’re living in with ever greater intensity. ,” he said in a message from Brussels. where he met with other European leaders.
Mr Mitsotakis is due to return to Athens on Tuesday to oversee efforts to contain the fires, cutting short his trip to Brussels.
Although the first major heatwave of the year in Greece has eased somewhat in recent days, sweltering conditions are forecast to worsen starting Thursday and temperatures are expected. will hit 43 degrees Celsius (109.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in Athens on Sunday.
To help alleviate the intense heat, authorities are operating air-conditioned locations so people can cool down in central Athens. Access to the Acropolis, the capital’s main landmark, was restricted during the cool mornings and afternoons last weekend, and similar measures are expected to be in place later this week.
Authorities said those whose homes were damaged in the fire will be accommodated at local hotels. And many of the animals that were rescued from shelters and cages near the fires are being cared for in centers in Athens.