Ammunitions explosions at airbase: New evacuations reported from Greece - firefighters facing extremely difficult situation
Thank you for choosing Automatic Translation. Currently we are offering translations from English into French and German, with more translation languages to be added in the near future. Please be aware that these translations are generated by a third party AI software service. While we have found that the translations are mostly correct, they may not be perfect in every case. To ensure the information you read is correct, please refer to the original article in English. If you find an error in a translation which you would like to bring to our attention, it would help us greatly if you let us know. We can correct any text or section, once we are aware of it. Please do not hesitate to contact our webmaster to let us know of any translation errors.
A security zone has been set up around a Greek air force base after wildfires triggered powerful explosions at an ammunition depot on Thursday, reports the BBC.
UPDATED August 1:
Shock waves were felt miles away and 133 residents of the nearby town of Nea Anchialos escaped by sea. No-one was injured by the explosions on Thursday July 27. Windows were shattered in Nea Anchialos and several villages in the area were evacuated.
The coastal air base is where Greece's 111 Combat Wings are hangared. F-16 missiles and bombs are stored at the depot 6km (3.7 miles) north of the planes and the runway.
Evacuation orders have been issued for areas close to two central Greek cities threatened by new outbreaks of wildfires, reports the BBC.
Residents around the cities of Volos and Lamia have been told to move to safety. Wildfires continue to burn on the islands of Rhodes, Corfu and Evia.
Two people have died near Volos, the fire service has confirmed.
The mayor of Greece's Thessaly region, Kostas Agorastos, has accused workers of starting the fire, according to the Ellada 24 news channel. He reportedly added that the fore in the region had broken out on four simultaneous fronts.
A state of emergency is in place on Rhodes. High winds continue to fan the wildfire and many villages remain at risk.
Firefighters in Greece near their limit
Firefighters working in the affected areas are in extremely difficult conditions, and some have spoken to various press outlets about them beginning to lose hope:
"Every day, every night, we are here and we achieve nothing... "We can't stop it," firefighter Savas Filaderis from Rhodes told Reuters news agency.
"Everybody, all the people, they fight. The civil people, the government, they are but... for nothing. I believe we fight for nothing."
Greece has experienced difficult wildfires for many years. in 2018, 80 people died during wildfire season. In 2021, wildfires once again threatened the capital of Athens and last year, in 2022, Greece narrowly escaped another disastrous wildfire season when un unexpected period of rain and cooler weather eased the situation in August.
2022 was reportedly the first time it had rained in August in 46 years in Greece.
More fires in southern Europe
Portugal, Croatia and the French Mediterranean Island of Corsica have also experienced wildfires in recent days.
Out of control wildfires are also burning in Algeria, Sicily, Puglia and Tunisia. The largest death toll is in Algeria where more than 30 people, including ten soldiers, have died in the fires.
Underground cables melted in the heat
In Sicily, a church in the capital of Palermo has been destroyed in the fires. In Catania, another city on Sicily, high temperatures allegedly melted underground electrical cables, leaving parts of the city without power and water.
Wildfires in Portugal, Turkey, and Croatia
FireEngineering.com reports that more than 500 firefighters continued to combat a wildfire near Lisbon, Portugal. 90 people were evacuated from their homes and also 800 farm animals.
A hospital and ten or more homes were evacuated as a precaution in the coastal town of Kemer, Turkey. Firefighters had been battling a wildfire for three days. At least 10 planes, 22 helicopters and hundreds of firefighters were deployed.
A wildfire was burning only kilometers away from the famous walled town of Dubrovnik, in Croatia´s south along the Adriatic Sea coast. Water bomber planes and more than 100 firefighters held back the fire before it reached houses overnight. The medieval stone city is a protected heritage site and Croatia’s best-known tourism destination.
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons License
Ελληνικά: Satellite image from NASA showing wildfires from Greece in 18 July 2023
Date: 20 July 2023
Source: Own work