Tourists are being evacuated in coastal towns on the Greek island of Rhodes on Saturday due to forest fires. About 1,000 people were evacuated from the southeastern town of Kiotari, where three hotels were damaged, the Athens-Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA) reported. Evacuations are also carried out in the western part of the island. – First we were evacuated to a nearby beach. (…) After 15 minutes, we were transferred to motorboats, and motorboats to cruise ships – Mr. Marcin reported in an interview with the editors of Kontakt 24.
A fire in the eastern part of the island of Rhodes broke out on Tuesday in a mountainous area. On Saturday, it spread and remained unchecked. About 1,000 people were evacuated from the coastal town of Kiotari in the south-eastern part of the island. Three hotels were damaged there, which people had previously left, the Athens-Macedonian Press Agency (ANA-MPA) reported. Evacuations were also carried out in the nearby resort of Lardos. Four Coast Guard vessels and more than 20 private boats were involved in the operation.
“It was clear from the morning that the fire was spreading”
With the editorial office Contact 24 Jakub, who was evacuated from a hotel in Rhodes on Saturday, contacted us. He explained that he flew to the island on Friday as part of a tour with the Grecos travel agency. – After arrival, we were informed about the fire hazard, but at that time there was no need to evacuate. Today (Saturday) from the morning, however, it was visible that the fire was spreading, so I guessed that there might be an evacuation, which happened in the afternoon – he described.
– We were taken to the beaches, where after some time coaches arrived and took us nearby, to the town of Lindos, that is, in the south of the island, where we are currently waiting for accommodation in a new hotel – he reported – We are in contact with the travel agency, our stay is scheduled for next Friday and for now there is no need to shorten it, only to change accommodation – he added.
Mr. Jakub sent us photos showing clouds of smoke rising over the island.
“We are drifting a safe distance from the shore”
We were also contacted by Mr. Marcin, who is also on holiday in Rhodes. “We have been evacuated from the hotel to the sea as fires are spreading rapidly in the western part of the island,” he said. The man said he was on a cruise ship at sea with other evacuees. – I got a government evacuation message before 2 p.m. local time. (…) First, we were evacuated to a nearby beach due to the fact that the fire was coming down from the hills towards the hotel. Fire brigades were working between the hotel and the beach. After 15 minutes on the beach, we were transferred to motorboats, and by motorboats to cruise ships that were obliged by the Greek government to provide assistance, he reported.
As Mr. Marcin said in the afternoon, “according to the latest information, we can be taken to a safe place where we will receive further instructions. For now, we are drifting at a safe distance from the shore.”
Fires in Greece
The fight against vegetation fires in Greece, including on the island of Rhodes, has been going on for days. A state of emergency was declared there on Thursday. Greek firefighters are supported in fighting the fire by colleagues from Slovakia. Greek authorities have warned of a very high risk of further fires on Sunday in Rhodes and elsewhere in Greece.
Greek State Fire Service spokesman Vasilios Vatrakoyannis said Friday was “another difficult day with 52 new fires across the country”. According to data from last Tuesday, over 10,000 hectares of forests and meadows burned down. Polish firefighters who arrived in Greece on Friday are helping in the firefighting operations.
There is a heatwave in Greece. The temperature in the shade exceeds 40 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists there estimated on Friday that Saturday and Sunday “could be the hottest July weekend in 50 years”. On Sunday, the temperature can reach 44 degrees C in Athens and 45 degrees in Thessaly.
Contact 24, amna.gr, PAP, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Contact 24