As it happenedended1690557724

Greece fires – live: Rhodes state of emergency remains as flames reach outskirts of Athens

Fire Service spokesman Ioannis Artopios said 12 villages were ordered to be evacuated

Plane fighting wildfires in Evia crashes

A wildfire has triggered a series of massive explosions at an air force ammunition depot in central Greece.

The depot was evacuated before the explosions, which shattered windows in the surrounding area. No injuries were reported, although continued blasts prevented firefighting teams from approaching the site.

Greek state broadcaster ERT said the facility is in the coastal town of Nea Aghialos near the Volos area.

The fire reached the ammunition storage facility about four miles north of the major military air base in Nea Anchialos. Local media reported that bombs and ammunition for Greek F-16 fighters were stored at the site

The fighter jets are reportedly being moved from the air base.

Fire Service spokesman Ioannis Artopios said 12 villages were ordered to be evacuated in the Volos-Nea Anchialos area.

Meanwhile, the blaze reached the outskirts of Athens, with 61 fires breaking out across the country in 24 hours.

Deadly wildfires on Greece’s mainland have killed two as wildfires spread in Europe and north Africa including Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, France, Croatia, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia.


Fires in Volos, Greece

In Volos, Greece, the labour ministry urged employers in the area to suspend operations on Thursday. Drone footage above Volos showed the fire leaving behind a trail of destruction with charred trees and land covered in grey ash.

The fire in Kymi on the island of Evia, where two pilots were killed on Tuesday when their plane crashed into a hillside as it was dropping water onto the flames, was brought under control. Rekindlings in the north of Corfu island and near the town of Lamia, south of Volos, were tamed.

On Rhodes, where more than 20,000 foreign visitors and locals fled seaside hotels and homes over the weekend, teams were trying to put out a blaze in a hard-to-reach mountainous area on Thursday.

Drone images show swathes of scorched forest land from a mountain down to the coast.

Large areas of the Mediterranean have sweltered under an intense summer heatwave in recent days, and firefighters have been battling to put out blazes across the region, from Portugal to Sicily to Algeria.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 July 2023 12:57

‘It’s my house, I have to protect it,’ says resident in Rhodes town threatened by wildfires

A resident in a hillside village in Rhodes threatened by wildfires in recent days has spoken of her relief that the blazes appeared to have been tamed, but fears tense days and difficult months may still lie ahead.

Eirini Kousoulini, who has run a restaurant in Malonas for five years, warned that tense moments still lie ahead as the volunteer firefighters who have toiled to quell the blazes in the hills above the village for nine nights must remain vigilant for any embers to reignite.

While the village was advised to evacuate in the small hours of Sunday, Irene remained at her house, which is located close to where the fires burned on the hillside.

“Its my house, I have to protect it,” said Eireni, who has lived in Rhodes for 25 years, and is originally from the island of Astypalaia, also in the Dodecanese.

“Everybody, everybody” is worried about the impact of the fires on tourism, she said. “All people in Rhodes work with tourists, everything is a chain. They work for six months and in the winter they don’t have work.”

The winter will be hard “for sure”, she added. “Because everything is very expensive – life, the supermarkets, electricity, everything … I have to work 18 hours here every day.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 July 2023 13:20

Very high risk of fire for several regions in Greece on Friday

According to the Fire Risk Prediction Map issued by the General Secretariat of Civil Protection of the Ministry of Climate Crisis & Civil Protection ( civilprotection . gov . gr ), for tomorrow Friday, July 28, 2023 , a very high risk of fire (risk category 4) is predicted for the following areas :

  • Region of Attica
  • Region of Central Greece (PE Boeotia, PE Evia, PE Fthiotida)
  • Peloponnese Region (Corinthia Region, Argolis Region)
  • South Aegean Region (Kos, Kalymnos, Rhodes, Karpathos)
  • North Aegean Region (Lesvos Region, Chios Region, Samos Region, Ikaria Region)
  • Region of Crete (Heraklion PE, Lasithi PE)
Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 July 2023 13:40

Wildfires in Portugal: Is it safe to travel to Lisbon and Cascais right now?

As wildfires rage across Sicily and Greece, Portugal is the latest Mediterranean country to be hit.

A fire broke out on 26 July near the popular coastal holiday spot of Cascais, just 30km west of capital city Lisbon.

The blaze started at 5pm in part of the Sintra-Cascais natural park, with strong winds fanning the flames and quickening the spread.

Local residents chipped in to help the hundreds of Portuguese firefighters sent to tackle the fires, with some attempting to protect their homes and villages with buckets of water and hosepipes.

“The fear now is that it will get to the houses,” local resident Ines Figueiredo told Reuters.

Is it safe to travel to Portugal right now?

Wildfires have broken out near holiday spot Cascais

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 July 2023 14:00

July is the hottest month on record - and likely in 120,000 years: ‘A foretaste of the future’

The warning lights have been on for weeks but now it is official: July 2023 is set to be the hottest month on record - and likely in 120,000 years.

The record-breaking average global mean temperature - the overall reading if you could stick a thermometer at every location on Earth - was confirmed by scientists including at the European Copernicus Climate Change Service and World Meteorological Organization on Thursday, based on analysis of international climate and weather datasets.

“We are in absolutely new record territory,” Dr Karsten Haustein, a climate scientist at Leipzig University whose separate analysis was first to confirm the new record, told a press briefing on Wednesday.

Senior Climate Correspondent Louise Boyle reports:

July is the hottest month on record - and likely in 120,000 years

Scientists are under no allusion about the dangers of new record-breaking levels of extreme heat. They also know who is responsible. Senior Climate Correspondent Louise Boyle reports

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 14:51

UN chief warns ‘era of global boiling’ has arrived

U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that the era of global warming has ended and “the era of global boiling has arrived” after scientists said July was the world’s hottest month on record.

“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning,” Guterres told reporters. “It is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and avoid the very worst of climate change. But only with dramatic, immediate climate action.”

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 15:02

Greek wildfires reach outskirts of Athens

Wildfires have reached the outskirts of Athens as strong gusts of wind cause flare-ups around Greece, disrupting motorway traffic and rail services.

Water-dropping helicopters and a ground crew were called early on Thursday to a blaze in Kifissia, just north of Athens, which was quickly put out.

Near the central city of Volos, a wildfire burned on two fronts, forcing a section of Greece’s busiest motorway to shut for several hours, while national rail services passing through the area were delayed.

Firefighters also battled flames on Rhodes for a 10th successive day, while flare-ups were reported on the island of Evia.

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 15:20

Red Cross in force in Rhodes as fires ease

The Red Cross has been operating in Rhodes since the fires began 10 days ago.

There are now 50 to 60 Red Cross staff operating across the island, a medic stationed at Gennadi told The Independent.

Initially, those comprised solely medics from Rhodes, who have been joined by others from Athens, Katerini, Kos and Patras.

While today had been calmer, Evangelos Efthymiou said that the team in Gennadi had treated people mostly only for light burns and other minor injuries.

Red Cross staff stationed in Rhodes

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 15:50

World set to overshoot Paris warming target, says UN climate agency boss

The incoming head of the UN climate science agency said on Thursday the world would exceed the Paris deal warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, adding that states’ policies had not been ambitious enough.

In an interview a day after being voted the next head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Britain’s Jim Skea said the organisation was “committed” to “at least a little bit of overshoot” of the long-term threshold from the 2015 Paris deal.

“They (governments) have not put in place policies that are ambitious enough to allow the goals of the Paris agreement to be met. That is absolutely for sure,” he said via video link from Nairobi where he won a run-off against Brazil’s Thelma Krug.

“We are, I think, committed to at least some degree of overshoot...,” he said.

Ending fossil fuels for some sectors, like aviation and freight, was not realistic, he said, adding that this meant CO2 would need to be removed from the atmosphere in future.

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 16:21

Explosion heard at an ammunition facility during wildfire in central Greece - state broadcaster

Explosions were heard at an ammunition facility in the coastal town of Nea Aghialos in central Greece during a wildfire in the area on Thursday, state broadcaster ERT reported.

Citing unnamed sources, ERT said the ammunition depot belonged to the Greek air force.

Martha Mchardy27 July 2023 16:23

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in