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Fires in Greece. Tourists evacuated from the island of Rhodes landed at Okęcie

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On Monday before midnight, a plane with passengers from the Greek island of Rhodes landed at the Chopin airport in Warsaw. Among them were tourists who fled the island from the fire. Meanwhile, Greece’s National Meteorological Service has warned of another heatwave that has hit the country intermittently since July 12. On Wednesday, especially in the eastern parts of Greece, temperatures could reach 45 degrees Celsius.

Rhodes has been burning for almost a week. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated so far. people, which is the largest evacuation operation ever carried out in Greece. There are still many Poles who spent their holidays on the island and are trying to find a flight home as soon as possible.

The tourists leaving the plane were tired, but relief was evident on many faces. Among them were both young people and families with children. Some of the children were tiny and were in prams.

– We saw smoke from a distance above the buildings. At the airport in Greece, a lot of people are still waiting for planes. I saw that a lot of water was distributed to all those in need. It was done very efficiently and quickly – said a young man who went on vacation to Rhodes.

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Relationships of tourists after returning from Rhodes

The fire on the island broke out ten kilometers from where Mr. Tomasz was staying. – It was tragic. People ran away and walked several kilometers on foot in full sun, without water, whole families, with children. When they got to the hotel where I was staying, they got help. Then another island of Corfu caught fire and we had to run away – he emphasized and added that people who reached the hotel said that “no one informed them what was going on, what to do and where to look for help”.

– However, the local people helped a lot. There were sun creams, diapers for children, milk. It was similar at the airport, where there are still a lot of people and I hope they will return home safely – he said.

Difficult situation in Rhodes. Thousands of evacuees are camped out in aid centersPAP/EPA/DAMIANIDIS LEFTERIS

Mr. Tomasz’s sister stressed that she had not been informed at the hotel about what was happening on the island and what the threat was. – We looked for information on the Internet ourselves, but it was safe in our hotel. One lady was relocated to us, who walked almost eight kilometers with nothing and only Greeks helped her – she said. According to her, there were a lot of people at the airport without plane tickets.

“Worst of all, however, was the smoke that suffocated us”

Michał went on holiday to Rhodes with his whole family and friends. Thank God we’re home now. The travel agency that sent us there did not answer the phone, and when we finally managed to call them, they said that we are now under the protection of the Greek government – he mentioned.

– On Saturday we found a help center organized in a sports hall – he said and emphasized the help received from the Greeks. – Residents themselves brought food, mattresses, toys for children – he added.

In his opinion, the wind is very strong and hot, which makes it difficult to carry out rescue operations and extinguish the fire. – I was very afraid of panic that might break out, but nothing like that happened. But the worst thing was the smoke that choked us,” he added. He reported that people who walked several kilometers along the beach to a safer place abandoned their suitcases to make it easier for them to walk.

Fires in Rhodes

A fire in Rhodes led to the largest evacuation in Greek history, Greek police said on Sunday. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated so far. people, including 3,000 by boats people.

Large groups continue to gather in the streets waiting to be transported to safe places. There is no information yet on the death toll from the fires, according to Reuters. Reinforcements have arrived on the island and now 250 firefighters are fighting the blaze, supported by air support from 15 planes and helicopters.

In Athens, the government has appointed a special crisis staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to manage the evacuation of foreign tourists. The Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport said 21 evacuation flights were made on Monday from the fire-ridden island of Rhodes.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament that the country must be on constant alert for the next few weeks. “We are at war, we will rebuild what we have lost,” he added. “The climate crisis is already here, it will manifest itself everywhere in the Mediterranean in larger disasters,” he said.

Extreme temperature warnings

Greek meteorologists inform that on Tuesday, July 25, temperatures in the interior of the country will oscillate between 40 and 42 degrees C. In the Ionian Islands, the eastern islands located in the Aegean Sea and southern Crete, the mercury will show between 39 and 41 degrees C.

Greece’s National Meteorological Service has warned of another heatwaveLEFTERIS DAMIANIDIS/PAP/EPA

In turn, on Wednesday, July 26, in the eastern parts of the country, the temperature may be as high as 45 degrees Celsius. The National Meteorological Service of Greece predicts that on Thursday, July 27, the temperature throughout the country will drop to about 35-37 degrees C.

Main photo source: LEFTERIS DAMIANIDIS/PAP/EPA



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