More people evacuated in northern Athens; fire threatens power facilities, shuts highway


Strengthening winds on Friday were stoking a large-scale wildfire in northern Athens, threatening critical power facilities, cutting off a section of the national highway and prompting the evacuation of residents from two more communities in the foothills of Mount Parnitha.

According to reports, the fire is threatening the facilities of the Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) at Agios Stefanos which, if hit, may cause widespread blackouts in the Greek capital.

The biggest front, meanwhile, is in the area of Afidnes, causing the closure of a section of the Athens-Lamia national highway. Trucks are banned from using the highway until further notice, while cars heading north are being rerouted to secondary roads.

At 11.05 a.m., moreover, the civil protection authority sent SMS messages to thousands of mobile phone users and police cars issued warnings through bullhorns for the evacuation of Kapandriti, Polydendri and Malakasa directing residents to the coasts of Varnava and Nea Makri.