| 15 July 2024, Monday |

Greece wildfires: PM warns of ‘difficult days ahead’

On Monday, Greek emergency services were busy tackling wildfires that had broken out on the island of Evia, located to the east of Athens.
A fire was also raging in the town of Aigio on the southern Peloponnese peninsula.

A wildfire west of Athens, which has damaged more than 100 houses and businesses, has been burning since July 17.
German travel giant TUI says it has deployed six additional planes to fly German and British tourists out of the island of Rhodes.

The firm said that another flight will be sent to bring Danish travelers to the town of Billund in southern Denmark.

“Further deployments have already been implemented and are planned, we are informing our guests on site and organising all necessary steps,” Thomas Ellerbeck, who is a member of TUI’s executive committee, said.

Rhodes is visited by about 2.5 million tourists each year and is one of Greece’s most popular holiday destinations.
Authorities have evacuated nearly 2,500 people from the island of Corfu as Greece battles with major wildfires.

This included 1,000 tourists and 1,500 residents.

The fire on the island was brought under control on Monday, with evacuations being implemented as a precautionary measure.
British airline Jet2 said it was sending three extra flights on Monday to bring around 600 people back to the United Kingdom out of Rhodes.

It said that the repatriation flights would go to Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Birmingham.

“We have a significantly expanded presence in Rhodes, with a huge team of experienced colleagues providing all the support we can for our customers,” the firm said.

According to the UK government, there are about 7,000-10,000 Britons currently on Rhodes.

Meanwhile, UK airline EasyJet said it would also operate two repatriation flights on Monday and one on Tuesday in addition to its usual schedule.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Athens would remain on “constant alert” and likened the wildfires raging in Greece to a “war.”

“For the next few weeks we must be on constant alert. We are at war, we will rebuild what we lost, we will compensate those who were hurt,” Mitsotakis told parliament.

“The climate crisis is already here, it will manifest itself everywhere in the Mediterranean with greater disasters,” he said, warning that the nation faced “another three difficult days ahead” before high temperatures are forecast to ease.

The country is experiencing a heat wave that has significantly heightened the risk of wildfires.

  • DW