Devastating wildfires displace 19,000 in Greece tourist hotspots amidst record heatwave

Picture courtesy of Lefteris Diamanidis/InTime News, AP

Corfu Island, a cherished tourist destination in the northwest of Greece, became a tragic scene of devastation yesterday as raging wildfires swept through the region. Swiftly responding to the emergency, local authorities initiated the evacuation of residents from high-risk areas.

Meanwhile, Rhodes Island, situated in the eastern Aegean Sea amidst the Dodecanese Islands, faced a similarly alarming situation, prompting authorities to take swift evacuation measures. The ongoing crisis has already uprooted approximately 19,000 people, and the uncontrolled wildfire shows no signs of abating.

For five consecutive days, billowing smoke and flames have marred the picturesque landscape of Rhodes Island. The significant blaze forced evacuations from four specific areas, including two popular seaside resorts. Responding to the escalating situation, Greece’s Emergency Communication Services issued mass-evacuation orders in various parts of Corfu Island on Saturday evening. An array of boats was promptly dispatched to rescue residents from the zones of Santa, Megoula, Porta, Perithia, and Sinies. While firefighters have managed to douse at least 82 forest fires across the country, the arid conditions and temperatures soaring over 40 degrees Celsius in the past week have exacerbated the wildfire crisis.

A shocking 64 new wildfires were reported in a single day, continuing the relentless havoc on Rhodes Island for six consecutive days, spreading on three separate fronts and forcing the evacuation of approximately 19,000 people, as reported by BBC.

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Greece is grappling with one of its most devastating wildfire seasons, amidst a record-breaking heatwave predicted to surpass 45 degrees Celsius. This alarming surge in temperature marks the highest in the past 50 years, further fueling the wildfire crisis.

The ongoing disaster poses a severe threat to Greece, a popular tourist haven that draws people from across the globe to its idyllic islands. Adding to the wildfire’s rapid spread is the persistent heatwave, which has set historic records. Greece’s struggle to contain the relentless wildfires has led to an unprecedented state of emergency, raising grave concerns for the safety of its inhabitants and the cherished natural beauty of its islands.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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