Disasters & Accidents

Wildfires across Southeast Europe rage on

Athens/Istanbul, Aug 4 (EFE).- Southeastern Europe has been going through a historic heat wave that has fuelled the wildfires waging on in Turkey and Greece among others, prompting the European Union to mobilize support.

  The fires are blazing across southern and southwestern Turkey for the eighth consecutive day, prompting local authorities to call for more aerial support to extinguish the flames, according to local media.

“The situation is very serious. The flames are getting closer to the thermal power plant in the area. An airplane or helicopter with night vision should head to the area immediately,” said Muhammet Tokat, mayor of Milas, one of the most affected areas.

On Wednesday morning another four districts of the Mugla province were evacuated as the flames continued to spread.

Eleven fires remain active, while 152 fires have been extinguished or put under control in 38 provinces of the country, mostly on the Mediterranean and Aegean coast, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Authorities have not disclosed the extent of damages, but the Izmir Chamber of Agricultural Engineers estimates that 547,000 hectares had been torched as of Monday.

So far, eight people, including two firefighters, have died in the fires, mostly in the southern Antalya province.

The large fire declared on the outskirts of Athens on Tuesday is declining, with only one of four fronts that were active remaining, according to the Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nicholas G. Hardalias.

The fire, however, has severely damaged 76 buildings in Varympompi, an Athens suburb, where 442 people were evacuated.

The flames also destroyed 82 vehicles and 1,250 hectares, Hardalias added.

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