September 18, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The villages at the gates of Athens are still burning

The reactor occupying the eastern Mediterranean bed continues to wreak havoc. In Greece and neighboring Turkey, Italy or Bulgaria, historic heat waves have fueled the development of violent fires. Tens of thousands of hectares were calculated in a week.

From Friday 5th August to Friday 6th August, sixteen people were admitted to Greek hospitals suffering from respiratory problems or minor burns caused by the fire near the capital and in many parts of the country. Firefighters, who were on their way to receive reinforcements from French firefighters on Friday morning, put out the blaze 30 kilometers north of Athens. Authorities say five locations were evacuated and several homes were burned.

After burning more than 1,200 hectares since Tuesday, the Greek capital was awakened again on Thursday afternoon by the fiery smoke that began again at the foot of Mount Burns.

On Thursday, August 5, the fire broke out again in the northern suburbs of Athens near the Cryonary.
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“Our country is in a very critical situation.”Greek Prime Minister Griagos Mitsodakis said Thursday evening. According to him, dozens of fires still burning the Greece show, “The Truth About Climate Change”. “We are facing an unprecedented situation as the multi-day heat wave has turned the entire country into a powder keg.”, He added at a TV address.

According to Deputy Minister of Civil Defense Nicos Hartalias, 57 of the 99 fires calculated on Thursday were still active in the evening, especially on the island of Evia and the Beloponnese, west and east of the country, where the situation on Friday morning was alarming. “About ten people, including two firefighters, were hospitalized with respiratory problems at the Histia dispensary on Yupoya Island.”, Said the Minister of Health, Vasilis Kigilias.

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Nearly sixty villages in southern Greece were evacuated Thursday and Friday morning. Strong winds, forecast by meteorologists in many parts of the country, will exacerbate the fire.

Cut the roads

On August 5, firefighters put out a fire near Affinity, north of the Greek capital.

In the village of Affidavits, 30 kilometers north of Athens, the blaze of wind was so terrible that Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer and videographer noted. A firefighter and five residents were hospitalized Thursday evening with minor burns, according to the Greek news agency ANA.

The highway and national highway connecting Athens to the north of the country have been cut as a precaution. At sunrise, firefighters tried to use the road as a barrier to prevent the flames from progressing before the water bombers returned. But the fire, consumed by the surrounding pine forest, crossed the road in several places.

A forest near the village of Affidavis, about 30 miles[30 km]north of Athens, catches fire.

At least 450 Greek firefighters intervened in the incident and were assisted by air resources and land vehicles. About 82 French firefighters – soldiers and civilians – arrived from Marseille on Thursday evening and were due to intervene on Friday. The Greek Civil Defense has announced that it expects two aircraft from France, about 100 firefighters and about 20 vehicles sent from Romania and three helicopters from Switzerland, reinforcements provided by Cyprus and Sweden.

Israeli officials, for their part, have announced that they will soon send fifteen firefighters and a large number of flame retardants on a civilian plane. Due to serious danger, authorities have banned all travel or stay in Greece’s forests, national parks and areas of Natura 2000 until August 9, according to civil defense.

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Le Monde with AFP and AP