In heat emergency, Greece adds checks for fires, power cuts

Greek authorities are ordering additional fire patrols and infrastructure maintenance inspections as the country grapples with a heat wave expected to last more than a week

Via AP news wire
Friday 30 July 2021 14:08
Greece Southeast Europe Heatwave
Greece Southeast Europe Heatwave

Greek authorities ordered additional fire patrols and infrastructure maintenance inspections Friday as the country grappled with a heat wave fed by hot air from Africa that is expected to last more than a week.

The emergency measures will also include efforts to create more air-conditioned areas open to the public in cities around Greece and at refugee camps, though the efforts are complicated by COVID-19 pandemic-related limits on how many people can gather together.

Temperatures in Greece and nearby countries in southeast Europe are expected to climb to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 F) in many cities and towns on Monday and ease only later next week.

Officials said the additional inspections were aimed at preventing water and power outages, with the increased use of air conditioning testing the country's energy capacity.

“This is a dangerous weather phenomenon. We have been saying it from the start of the week,” said Theodoris Kolydas, director of Greece’s National Meteorological Service.

“The conditions will be stubborn and only subside gradually... very hot air masses from the shores of Africa are heading toward our region.”

As the temperatures rose, three separate wildfires damaged homes in southern Greece this week, outside Athens and the western city of Patras.

Civil protection chief Nikos Hardalias said climate change was raising the fire risk.

“On average (in mid-summer), we are dealing with about 50 fires per day, and many of those are under difficult conditions. That number is clearly increasing each year,” Hardalias told private Antenna television.

“It’s a phenomenon that’s gradually getting worse. Climate change is now a climate threat. I say it everywhere I go. We all have a responsibility to protect the country," he said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

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