More than 2,000 residents of the Greek island of Evia were put on a ferry on Monday to be evacuated as quickly as possible. After a good week of bushfires, the situation doesn’t look any better and the flames are reaching extreme proportions. “Too late. The environment is destroyed.”
On August 3, burning began in Greece. We are now seven days away and the situation is dire on the island of Evia. Temperatures are over 45 degrees and fire destroys everything in its path. It is said that about 50 thousand hectares of pine forests have been reduced to ash and more than 300 homes have been completely destroyed. The sky turned completely orange, so that the scorching sun could no longer be seen.
As a result, huge numbers of people were evacuated. According to emergency services, 2,770 people have been evacuated since the fires broke out. Because of the situation in Evia, about 2,000 residents there have also had to leave their homes in recent days. This mainly concerns the northern part of the island. The phrases were used to be able to switch quickly. So they are uncomfortable in Greece. This is mainly because more than 100 people died in 2018 in wildfires near Athens.
However, many people stay behind to save their belongings. They get buckets of water, fire extinguishers and garden hoses. “Residents, along with firefighters, are doing their best to save their village and neighboring villages,” Yiannis Katsikoyuannis told the Associated Press news agency. He came to Evia from Crete to help his father. They were told if they had left their village, everything would have been burnt. Maybe two days ago.” They did not see a single firefighting plane. Now the conditions are too harsh to fly because of the smoke.”
At the moment it does not appear that the fire will be extinguished anytime soon. In Evia, more than 600 firefighters fight the fire unsuccessfully. “Too late. The area has been destroyed,” Giannis Kuntzias, the mayor of Istania in northern Evia, told local media.
So Greece has already requested international assistance. Several countries, including Turkey, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, have sent firefighting planes, and member states in Europe are said to have sent 14 planes, 1,300 firefighters and 200 vehicles to Greece.
However, locals will feel that very little is being done from Athens. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the fire service had already fought 586 fires across Greece last week. He apologized for the state’s failure and promised to direct blame when necessary. “We did what was humanly possible, but sometimes it was not enough in the unequal battle with nature,” he said, describing the fires as a “natural disaster of unprecedented proportions.”
Meanwhile, the situation in the rest of the country is somewhat under control, but there are still fears of clashes.