Firefighters continue to battle blazes as night falls

Firefighters continue to battle blazes as night falls

A total of 81 fires broke out in Greece in the last 24 hours and firefighters are still battling 40 active fronts, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias told a public briefing late on Tuesday.

The largest and most dangerous of the blazes continued to burn in Athens’ northern suburbs at three main locations – Varybobi, Adames and Thrakomakedones – where 520 firefighters, 17 terrain teams and 150 fire trucks battled the flames as night fell and their air support was grounded.

This fire began after 1 p.m. in Ano Varybobi, in the foothills of Mount Parnitha, possibly as a result of a confluence of factors, including a heatwave that took temperatures to 45 degrees Celsius, humidity of under 10% and midday winds with a velocity of 6 on the Beaufort scale. 

The Fire Brigade was assisted by the army, the police – including 305 policemen and three riot police units – volunteers and local authorities. A total of 315 people were transported to safety away from the fire. 

Evacuees who have nowhere to spend the night can the National Public Health Organization (EODY) at 1135 to be put up at hotels, Hardalias said, at state’s expense.

Of the 40 active fronts in Greece today, four so far have led to evacuations of communities. These were at Kastania is in the southeast Peloponnese, Asklipion on the island of Kos, Vassilitsa in the southwest Peloponnese and Myrtia on the island of Evia.

Of the above four, the one on Kos was contained, according to news that came in after the briefing, while the one Evia is burning between Hronia and Limni.

Hardalias also said that despite the threat of the fire in Varybobi to power stations in the vicinity, the danger has been averted. [ANA-MPA]

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