Thousands of Greeks Flee Wildfires North of Athens, First Death Reported

Last night and tonight, thousands of people have again fled suburbs north of the Greek capital Athens. There was also the first death in the fires in Greece today. Neighbourhoods have gone up in flames again.


Also on the island of Evia, people had to be removed by boats. In the Peloponnese, firefighters are still trying to keep the fire away from the ancient archaeological site of Olympia.

Last night the alarm went off when a number of northern suburbs of Athens were threatened by advancing fire. Once again, thousands of people had to leave their homes in haste and in the dark. The main road from Athens to northern Greece is closed.

This afternoon also saw the first death in Greece. It would be a man who ended up north of Athens under a falling electricity pole. A dozen injured have also been admitted to hospitals, but the rapid evacuation may have prevented more suffering.

The situation in northern Athens seems to be getting completely out of hand, Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported this morning. The fire at the foot of Mount Parnitha seems to be spreading more and more with new sources of fire, especially in a southeasterly direction. In this way, Marathon on the Aegean Sea is also threatened. Residents there, too, were ordered this morning to leave in the direction of the coast.

Forest fires also continue to rage on the large island of Evia east of Athens. The Greek coast guard has again had to rescue more than 600 people who were surrounded by fires on the beach and had no way out. The coastguard was assisted by owners of small boats who also came to pick up people.

Greece is not alone. France, Sweden and Cyprus are sending equipment such as firefighting planes and firefighters. Romania, Switzerland and Israel are also sending teams and equipment to tackle the fires. In addition, Russia has deployed a very large firefighting aircraft. Heavy forest fires are also raging elsewhere in and around the Mediterranean. At least ten people have been killed in Turkey, and there are also large fires in Albania, North Macedonia and Algeria.

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