Basketball court turns evacuation center in Evia


People who fled their homes due to wildfires are being accommodated at an indoor basketball court in Halkida, the capital of Evia island, about 81 kilometers north of Athens. Following criticism over their response to last summer’s flooding disaster on the island, civil protection authorities made extensive use of the 112 emergency communications service, first to notify residents to secure their homes from incoming sparks and then, if necessary, to evacuate. In some cases, people were evacuated by force, including a woman in the northern Athens suburb of Varybobi who said she wanted “to burn along with the house.” [AP]