Tourists Flee to Safety as Wildfire Engulfs Rhodes, Greece
Greece is the new apple of the eyes of wealthy people who seek lavish getaways in the Mediterranean. However, due to the extreme temperatures that Europe is experiencing, the country is dealing with raging wildfires that sent thousands of tourists from Rhodes to flee for their safety.
Raging Wildfires in Rhodes Force Tourists to Evacuate
The peaceful and happy vacation of tourists in Rhodes turned into a nightmare when wildfires started to savage the beautiful island. As many as 19,000 people fled as firefighters struggle to control 82 wildfires throughout Greece, which started on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Climate Change and Civil Protection, this desertion from a wildfire is so far the largest in the country. Local authorities noted that 16,000 people evacuated by land and while 3,000 fled by sea from 12 villages and many hotels.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport said that 14 TUI and Jet2 flights onboarding 2,700 passengers will leave Rhodes airport by Monday at 3 AM. Both airline companies cancelled package holiday flights to the island due to wildfires.
“I called (Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ) to express our full support for Greece, which is confronted with devastating forest fires and a heavy heat wave due to climate change. Greece is handling this difficult situation with professionalism, putting emphasis on safely evacuating thousands of tourists, and can always count on European solidarity,” tweeted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
On Sunday, the weather remained scorching in Greece. A total of 180 locations endured 40°C and above. Gytheio experienced the highest temperature of 46.4 C. Evia, on the other hand, was the most seriously affected by the 64 wildfires that started on Sunday. It’s Greece’s second-largest island which forced southern village residents to flee to Karystos, west of where the fire was proceeding.
Greece Sends Gratitude to Turkey for Helping Contain Forest Fires
Greece can’t control the forest fires that spread in a blink of an eye. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is thankful for Turkey’s help in fighting the infernos. He also thanked Ankara, Turkey’s capital, for its readiness to support and assist Greece in braving dangerous wildfires. On Friday, it deployed a firefighting helicopter and two amphibious firefighting aircraft.
“Under the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 2 firefighting planes and 1 firefighting helicopter registered in the inventory of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry General Directorate of Forestry and crews will be sent to Greece,” the Turkish Communications Directorate tweeted.
Since last Monday, wildfires continue to devastate Greece, including its capital. According to the Greek Civil Defense, aside from Turkey, other countries, including Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, Slovakia, France, and Italy helped in controlling wildfires. They sent helicopters and firefighting planes.
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