• Sunday, Jan 23, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Greeks battle to protect town from ferocious blaze

  • Published at 09:31 pm August 10th, 2021
Greek forest fires approaching the village of Pefki on Evia island
File Photo: A local resident gestures as he holds an empty water hose during an attempt to extinguish forest fires approaching the village of Pefki on Evia island on August 8, 2021 AFP

Greece's PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis apologized for failures in tackling the wildfires that have burned across the country for the past week

Residents are mounting a round the clock watch to try to save their homes from the wildfires ravaging the Greek island of Evia, determined to stay put despite the authorities urging them to evacuate.

The fire brigade was bracing for a pickup in winds from on Tuesday afternoon which could cause more flare ups on Greece's second largest island, where fires were burning for an eighth day. Other fronts in the Peloponnese could also be reignited.

The government is due to announce fast-track relief measures for those who have lost homes and property - but for some villagers, leaving their houses to the flames turning the skies a deep red was not an option.

"Police came and told us to evacuate the village of Avgaria but we cannot, this is our property. We cannot let our homes burn," said Ioannis Aggelopoulos, 55, who owns a car body shop at Istiaia, on the island's northern tip.

Villager Ioanna Metaksioti, 59, joined the patrol: "We are very afraid, but we have to stay."

On Monday Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis apologized for failures in tackling the wildfires that have burned across the country for the past week as authorities began counting the cost in lost homes and livelihoods.

He was set to chair a cabinet meeting later in the day and his government was to announce specific relief measures for those who lost homes, farms and property.

On Monday he approved a 500-million-euro budget for aid for Evia and the Attica region around Athens.

Sentinel-2 satellite imagery showed swathes of forest scorched by the wildfires in Attica, Evia and the Peloponnese, with the Athens National Observatory estimating that about 650,000 hectares had been burned in total until Sunday.

More than 500 fires have been burning across Greece, forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages and thousands of people. Almost 1,000 firefighters, nine aircraft and 200 vehicles have been sent to Greece from other European countries to help.

Mitsotakis promised that forests destroyed by the fires would be restored and climate defences would be built up.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail