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Fires in Rhodes. Satellite images show how the fire spread to more areas

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The effects of forest fires in Greece can be seen from space. Satellite images show how quickly the fire spread to other areas of Rhodes. The Greek island has been ravaged by devastating wildfires for more than a week, with the largest evacuation in the country’s history taking place over the weekend.

Extensive forest fires in Greece started early last week. The island of Rhodes was hit hardest by the element. Greek public television ERT reported on Tuesday that about 10 percent of the island’s surface had burned.

The spread of the fire, favored by heat, exceeding 40 degrees Celsius for the last few days, and strong winds, can be seen in the satellite images.

Fires visible from space

The first photo, taken on Thursday, July 20, shows a small area of ​​the island devoured by fire and smoke billowing smoke in its central, mountainous part.

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The satellite image, taken just three days later on Sunday, July 23, shows a vast area of ​​the burned island and long columns of smoke rising over the Aegean Sea. The fire then moved to the east and south-east coasts, affecting resorts such as Kiotari, Larods and Lindos, among others.

Over the weekend, raging fires forced the evacuation of 20,000-30,000 people. It was the largest evacuation in the history of the country, according to the Greek authorities.

Photo from outer space, which shows the island of Rhodes consumed by flames at the end of last week, was also shown by the European Space Agency (ESA). The island was photographed on July 23 by the Sentinel 2A satellite operating under a joint program of ESA and the European Union.

July 23 satellite image of RhodesESA

Several new fires broke out in Rhodes on Thursday, most of which were brought under control by professional and volunteer firefighters. Active firefighting fronts are concentrated in the southern and south-eastern parts of the island.

Fires in Greece

The fight against fires is also going on in the islands of Euboea, Corfu and central Greece, among others. On Tuesday, it was reported that at least five people had died as a result of fires on the island of Euboea. Two of them are military plane pilots who died fighting the fire.

74 firefighters have been injured or suffered from heatstroke in the last 10 days fighting fires in Greece, Janis Atropios, a spokesman for the Greek fire service, said on Thursday.

The fire department said there have been more than 500 fires in Greece this year. While summer wildfires are typical of the country, rising temperatures and dry weather are making Greece the center of climate change in the Mediterranean, researchers say.

tvnmeteo.pl, Reuters, ESA, PAP

Main photo source: Reuters/Planet Labs PBC

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