Disasters & Accidents

Greece battles dozens of wildfires, some still uncontrolled

(Update: adds info from Turkey)

Athens/Istanbul Aug 5 (EFE).- Greece continued to battle intense wildfires Thursday, with more than 100 breaking out in the past 24 hours and three still out of control, in the midst of the worst heat wave in 40 years.

Neighboring Turkey is also struggling to contain dozens of blazes, including one which threatened the thermal power plant in Milas in the western province of Mugla.

The most concerning blaze in Greece began on the island of Euboea on Tuesday, with firefighters still not able to bring it under control.

Local authorities said Thursday morning that three more towns were evacuated overnight, adding to the dozen cleared since Tuesday.

The evacuations were being carried out systematically and preventively, and with the help of a phone alert system, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias said on Wednesday night

This system, launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, has become a key tool in the battle against the fires, Hardalias said, adding that this was reflected in the fact that so far there have been no deaths, despite the scale of the fires.

Fighting the blaze on Euboea has been especially difficult due to thick smoke preventing visibility for pilots dousing the flames from the air.

According to the first assessment by the municipal authorities, the fire has destroyed 150 homes and more than 2,000 hectares of land on the island.

The situation is also serious around the ancient archaeological site of Olympia, although no lives are in danger there, according to local media citing sources from the municipality.

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