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News > Greece

Air Force Base Evacuated as Wildfire Raging in Greece

  • Residents and visitors are evacuated in Nea Anchialos town, Volos, Greece, July 27, 2023.

    Residents and visitors are evacuated in Nea Anchialos town, Volos, Greece, July 27, 2023. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 28 July 2023

Currently, firefighters are battling 124 wildfires nationwide in extremely difficult conditions.

On Thursday, wildfires raging across parts of Greece has forced the evacuation of an air force base at the seaside town of Nea Anchialos, near the port city of Volos, as well as 12 settlements in the area, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.


Heatwaves Fuel New Fires in Mediterranean Countries

The relocation of Hellenic Air Force aircraft became necessary after wildfire triggered a series of massive explosions overnight at an ammunition depot, breaking windows and damaging buildings in the vicinity.

The wildfires in the greater Volos area have posed the toughest challenge for firefighters for the past two days, according to the Fire Brigade.

Across Greece, 83 new fires were reported on Thursday. Firefighters are battling a total of 124 wildfires nationwide in extremely difficult conditions, according to the Fire Brigade.

The situation has improved on Rhodes Island where nearly 20,000 people were evacuated during the weekend as the fires threatened residential zones after scorching forests and farmland.

The Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Ministry allowed some tourists and the residents of a dozen towns and villages in eastern Rhodes to return to their homes and accommodations.

Five people have died in the wildfires this week. The charred bodies of two civilians were found on Wednesday near Volos.

The bodies of three other victims, a shepherd and two pilots, were discovered on Evia Island. The plane operated by the two pilots crashed during a fire extinguishing operation. Over 600 wildfires have broken out nationwide in the past two weeks.

"There is no doubt, we can see it throughout the Mediterranean, that the climate crisis is here and affects us all, perhaps even more severely than scientists had warned," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a meeting with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Thursday.

"The climate crisis may be a reality, but it cannot be an alibi... A human hand is responsible for most wildfires," whether it is due to negligence or foul play, he said, adding that in the latter case, "the sword of justice will be merciless" with the perpetrators.

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