NEWS

Fourteen villages, two monasteries evacuated as wildfire ravages homes in Corinthia

fourteen-villages-two-monasteries-evacuated-as-wildfire-ravages-homes-in-corinthia

A large wildfire in Greece gutted and damaged dozens of homes and prompted further evacuations Thursday as it tore through rugged forest terrain in the regional unit of Corinthia. No injuries were reported.

Overnight and on Thursday, authorities issued evacuation orders for 14 settlements, in areas with many vacation homes. Two Orthodox Christian monasteries and one convent were also evacuated.

Fire department officials said 17 water-dropping planes and three helicopters were involved to try to contain the blaze about 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Athens that started in the village of Schinos, outside the resort town of Loutraki.

Greece’s power distribution agency DEDDIE said pylons have been burned causing power cuts in the affected areas. Electricity is not expected to be restored before Friday.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection ordered the evacuation of three more settlements – Hani Derveni, Ano Pefkenea and Kato Pefkenea – sending SMS messages through the 112 emergency number, after powerful winds changed the direction of the blaze.

The fire reached a nearby coastline and damaged several fishing boats. Fire department spokesman Lt. Col. Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis said more than 180 firefighters were deployed Thursday.

Smoke from the fire reached Athens, affecting visibility. Wildfires are common during Greece’s hot summers.

A damaged house from a wildfire, in the village of Vamvakies, Corinth, Greece, Thursday, May 20, 2021. [Petros Giannakouris/AP]

Fire fighters are seen operating in the village of Alepohori, in Corinthia. [Yiannis Liakos/Intime News]

[AP, Kathimerini]