Ελληνικά: Satelite image from NASA showning wildfires from Greece in 18 July 2023 Date	20 July 2023 Source	Own work Author	Serezis
30 Jul 2023

Ammunitions explosions at airbase: New evacuations reported from Greece - firefighters facing extremely difficult situation


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.


Ammunition explosion at an airbase in Greece.


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

Author Serezis