Wildfires continue to rage across the Greek island of Evia, forcing residents to flee to safety by sea.
Over 2,000 people have been evacuated, with elderly residents being transferred to ferries. Local officials claimed that insufficient assistance was sent to fight the fires, even though portions of the island had already been destroyed.
Greece is currently experiencing its most severe heatwave in 30 years, reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113F). As a result, several some, in addition, firefighters wildfires have raged across the country in recent days. However, one fire in Athens’ northern suburbs is said to have been extinguished.
Heatwaves like this are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of human-caused climate change. Wildfires are likely to be fueled by the subsequent hot, dry weather.
On Evia, a large island north and east of Athens, two fire fronts have destroyed thousands of acres of land and several homes and businesses. Firefighters have been battling fires in a number of the island’s villages.
On Sunday, images showed additional people being evacuated, including older adults being carried onto ferries. Residents and officials are pleading for further assistance as the fire show no signs of abating.
Giannis Kontzias, mayor of Istiaia in northern Evia, told local news: “It’s too late; the area has been destroyed.” He pleaded for additional assistance from water-bombing planes and helicopters.
However, Civil Protection Chief Nikos Hardalias stated that the planes encountered several difficulties, including reduced visibility due to the fires.