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Greece. Fires in Greece. Over 500 fires. Fatalities. “It’s been a very difficult summer”

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In the last week alone, more than 500 fires have broken out in Greece. Fighting the fire is made difficult by high temperatures and strong winds. Authorities have so far detained 140 people, 79 of them “in connection with arson”. “Greece is experiencing the most difficult year in terms of climatic conditions in history,” said government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis.

Greek firefighters are battling 517 fires that have broken out across Greece since last Friday (August 18). The fight against the element is made difficult by high air temperature and strong winds.

“Greece is experiencing the most difficult year in terms of climatic conditions in history,” government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis said at a press briefing. He added that it could be related to climate change. “The combination of high temperatures, drought, and strong winds create ideal conditions for wildfires,” Marinakis said. “It’s been a very difficult summer,” he added.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated due to the fires. Earlier this week, hospital patients were briefly transferred to a ferry as they were threatened by fire.

The patients of the hospital in the city of Alexandroupolis were evacuated to the ferryReuters

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The arsonists were detained

Satellite measurements carried out by scientists from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) research program indicate that 72,344 hectares of forests have been burned in the largest fire in the north-east of Greece.

In Greece, 140 people have been detained so far in connection with the fires, 79 of them “in connection with arson”, Pavlos Marinakis said on Friday. Among those arrested are a man allegedly setting fire to a forest near Athens and another suspected of arson on the island of Euboea. A man who casually threw a cigarette butt into an olive grove overgrown with dried grass was also detained, the portal ekathimerini reported.

Fires in northern Greece - satellite photos

Fires in northern Greece – satellite photosReuters/Maxar Technologies

Fatalities

On Friday, a charred corpse was found in a burnt area near the port city of Alexandroupolis, located in the east of the country near the border with Turkey. This means that a total of 19 people died there. Since no one has reported them missing, it is suspected that they were migrants who entered Greece from Turkey. Identification of the remains is in progress. A telephone line for family-seekers has been launched in English, Arabic, Turkish, Pashto and Urdu. In an interview with local television, a government spokesman reminded that those found guilty of arson are facing life imprisonment. Asked about punishing the perpetrators, he added that “we owe it to the people who died and also to those who lost their properties.

Fire near the city of Alexandroupoli in Greece

Fire near the city of Alexandroupoli in GreeceENEX

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/PANAGIOTIS PRAGIANNIS



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