Damage caused by fires larger than anticipated, agency finds

Damage caused by fires larger than anticipated, agency finds

The large fires that burned for four days in Kalamos, Kapandriti and other parts of eastern Attica razed around 2,700 hectares of land, according to estimates by the National Observatory, significantly higher than statements by government officials had suggested.

A total of 2,690 hectares, chiefly forestland, was destroyed by the blazes, according to a statement released by the observatory’s space center – known by its acronym BEYOND, which stands for Building a Center of Excellence for Earth Observation-based monitoring of Natural Disasters. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had declared that the fires had burned around 1,500 hectares, noting that the damage represented just a tenth of that wreaked by the disastrous wildfires of 2007, when a conservative administration was in power.

Regional authorities had gauged the damage to be to just over 1,800 hectares of land.

Of the 2,690 hectares that was razed, according to BEYOND, around 1,500 was forestland and most of the rest was farmland.

The process of assessing the precise extent of the areas affected by the fires began yesterday and, once completed, the next step will be to plan flood-prevention measures and calculate what compensation is owed to those who have seen their properties or livelihoods damaged by the fires.

Interior Minister Panos Skourletis chaired a meeting on Thursday with Alternate Environment Minister Sokratis Famelos, Attica Regional Governor Rena Dourou and the mayors of towns affected by the fires to discuss the government’s response.

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