Villages evacuated on Rhodes as wildfire bears its teeth

Villages evacuated on Rhodes as wildfire bears its teeth

Four villages and a hotel are being evacuated on the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes as strong winds continue to stoke a wildfire that broke out in the early hours of Wednesday near the village of Apollonas in the western mountains.

Residents and visitors in Eleousa, Salakos, Dimilia and Profitis Ilias, as well as staff and patrons at the Elafos Hotel, were told to head for the coastal resort of Kolymbia, where five boats have been put on standby to help evacuees if this becomes necessary.

Regional authorities have also given the green light for fire-fighting forces to commandeer all earth-moving machines and trucks in the battle against the blaze, while the head of the Rhodes Workers’ Center and a member of the Natural Disaster Response Team appealed for volunteers.

“It’s all going to burn!” Panagiotis Englezos said in a post on Facebook from Apollonas, asking for residents from unaffected parts of the island to do what they can to help.

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