Forest fires in the north-east of Greece. Residents of more than 10 towns near the port city of Alexandroupolis, on the border with Turkey, were evacuated. Several houses and a church burned down there.
A fire that broke out on Saturday morning destroyed more than a dozen houses and a church in villages near the city of Alexandroupoli in northeastern Greece.
In the night from Saturday to Sunday, the inhabitants of eight villages were evacuated, four people were transported to the hospital due to breathing difficulties. Five more towns were evacuated on Sunday.
“It was a very hard night,” said Mayor Giannis Zamboukis. On Sunday morning, he assured that tourists staying in Alexandroupolis and the surrounding area are safe.
More than 200 firefighters equipped with 16 planes and helicopters participate in the firefighting operation.
Greek Minister for the Climate Crisis and Civil Defense Vasilis Kikilias said that services and volunteers were fighting an “intensive fight” with the fire, the AP reported.
Heat, drought and strong winds favor fires
Minister Kikilias appealed to citizens to be vigilant and reminded that any outdoor work that could lead to fires is prohibited. “We all have to protect our country,” he said.
Forest fires in Greece are spreading mainly due to strong winds, heat and drought, and meteorologists warn that the temperature will not drop in the coming days. The civil protection warned that on Monday an extreme fire risk would cover the Athens area and areas in southern Greece.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/DIMITRIS ALEXOUDIS