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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Athens Battles Wildfires Drawn in by Strong Winds

Environment

7Dnews London

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:25 GMT

In Greece, a dangerous mix of high temperatures and strong winds has created an unprecedented outbreak of wildfires, as a major blaze swept across Athens, AFP reported on Saturday August 10th.  

The country has battled over 50 wildfires nationwide, the most recent of which has called for the fire department to mobilise more than 450 firemen and 23 aircraft nationwide to tackle the fires, including one on the island of Elafonissos, and two around Marathon, near Athens.

According to state news agency ANA, a camping site and a hotel on Elafonissos, and a children's summer camp near Marathon, were evacuated as a precaution.

Marathon had witnessed the worst fire tragedy that had hit the country, when an island near Mati, had a loss of 102 lives in the country’s worst fire disaster last year.

Temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), in some areas on Sunday August 11th, accompanied by gale force winds, ideal fire conditions.

On Friday August 9th, civil protection chief, Nikos Hardalias, explained that this has been the first time since 2012 that the country had faced such a mix of high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity. He said he was placing emergency services on high alert, given the extreme hot weather conditions, according to AFP.

Europe