There are dozens of fires on the Greek island of Evia. As a precaution, 2,000 people were evacuated. Fire is destroying nature on the island, which is famous for its beautiful forests. That’s what VTM journalist Romina van Kamp had to say right away.
“The island of Evia is easy to get to from Athens. There is a road connecting from Athens. The road there went very smoothly. There were no closed roads. The north of the island was particularly affected. The island has an area of 3,600 square kilometers, which is slightly larger than the province of West Flanders.
“The fire mainly destroys nature and forests. I did not see many burning houses. The island is famous for its natural beauty. 2000 people were evacuated as a precaution. This was done by ferry, because this is the fastest. In total, 200,000 people live in Evia. This is one out of every 100. So there are still people here who can continue to live in their homes safely.”
Many people are staying on the island to offer help. In total, at least 35,000 hectares of land have already been burned. This is the same size as Antwerp and Ghent combined. Nearly 600 firefighters have been deployed to the Greek island.
Residents say aid has started too slowly. Fleming Bob Segers didn’t take any risks last weekend. “My wife told me the flames were two kilometers away from us,” he told VTM Nieuws. “It’s hard to leave your home behind.” In the meantime, he managed to go home.
Aid from other EU countries now consists of nine planes, 1,000 firefighters and two hundred vehicles. France, Germany, Poland and Austria, among other countries, sent additional equipment. EU countries also come to the rescue in North Macedonia, Albania, Turkey and Italy. Evidence of arson was again found in the latter country after hundreds of people were evacuated in Campomarino Lido on the Adriatic coast. In Sicily, the police caught a red-handed arsonist.
The situation has improved in the Turkish coastal areas affected by forest fires. The fires in the area are largely under control. The current fires have destroyed an estimated 1,500 square kilometers of land. Due to the constant heat and drought, the danger of fire is far from over.
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