Wildfires reignited in Athens, causing devastation to around 150 houses and forcing evacuations in Southern Greece.
This fire raged around a monastery and a dozen villages on the Greek island of Evia. Another blaze also caused havoc and threatened Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games.
Additional support from Greece’s military force and other European Union countries arrived soon to put out the blaze. Water-dropping helicopters and planes took control of the situation.
According to the Civil Protection officers, around 100 firefighters backed by seven helicopters and water-bombing planes fought the blaze.
However, local politicians criticized the scarcity of resources. Giorgos Tsapourniotis, the mayor of Limni, told the ANA news agency, “We are asking the authorities to reinforce the air and land forces so as not to risk human lives.”
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on his visit to the site, stated, “The country is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis, with multiple large fires.”
While the deputy minister for civil protection Nikos Hardalias also told journalists, “We’re waging a battle of the titans. The hardest is still to come.”
This fire has erupted in the grip of a severe heatwave once again. Experts have alerted that global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
On Evia Island, the fire blaze erupting out of the forest could be seen from the sea, reported the Guardian. Firefighters said that it was hard to contain that fire as visibility became less clear with each minute.
Moreover, though all the people from the nearby villages have been evacuated, three monks from the Saint David Monastery had refused to leave.
However, the police told the AFP news agency that if the situation comes to the worst, they will force the monks to evacuate. The monks also described the fire as 30 to 40 meters high surrounding the monastery.
A heatwave in Southern Europe has also triggered damaging fires in Turkey, and Albania and blazes across the region reported the Associated Press.
North Macedonia’s government has declared a state of crisis for the next 30 days due to wildfires.
In Olympia, where also 100 firefighters were battling the blaze supported by three helicopters and two planes are also trying their best to protect the museums.
“Everything that can be done to protect from the flames the museum and the archaeological site, where the Olympic games started, has been done,” said culture minister Lina Mendoni on Wednesday evening.
Moreover, expressing concern, Mitsotakis said from Ilia, “If there are even few people who have reservations about whether climate change is real, I call on them to come here and see the intensity of the phenomena,” reported the Independent.
The site where the Olympic Flame had its inception is one of Greece’s most famous tourist spots. Citizens’ Protection Minister Mihalis Chrisohoidis said, “Our forces fought an all-night battle…to keep the archaeological site and the town intact.”