Disasters & Accidents

Fire prompts Athens suburbs evacuation as Greece suffers historic heat wave

(Update 1: adds info on Athens fire)

Athens, Aug 3 (EFE).- Authorities evacuated three suburbs of Athens threatened by one of multiple fires spreading across the country, as Greece suffers through a generational heat wave that was expected to reach its peak on Tuesday.

The flames in Athens have engulfed several homes and a campsite and have made their way to the main square of the Varympompi suburb, according to Greek media.

The fire started near the Tatoi Palace in Athens at midday, on a day with temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius amid a record-breaking heat wave sweeping through the country.

Greek Civil Protection asked residents to leave their homes when the flames approached residential areas.

No victims to the fires have been officially reported yet, although the media have informed of several calls to emergency services by citizens stuck inside their buildings.

Some 350 firefighters have been dispatched to the affected areas along with 70 vehicles, 5 helicopters and 5 firefighting aircrafts.

The power supply company ADMIE warned that dozens of towns near the capital city of Greece might suffer electricity shortages, as some of its infrastructure has been affected by the fires.

Monday saw temperatures of 46 degrees Celsius, breaking a record set in 1987 when a similar heat wave in late July left some 1,300 people dead in the country.

The Greek Electricity Distribution Operator announced intermittent power cuts in some parts of the country on Tuesday, especially in the capital region of Attica, in order to avoid a widespread blackout when temperatures are expected to be between 44 and 46 degrees.

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