Firefighting On The Greek Island Of Euboea Continues For The Seventh Day In a Row

Firefighters continue this Monday fighting for the seventh consecutive day against the fire on the Greek island of Euboea, where flames have surrounded several towns and evacuations continue to be the order of the day, while the other fronts in the country seem delimited.

According to information from local media, in the north of the second largest island in Greece the fire has cordoned off eight villages, while in a second front, in the south, firefighters are fighting to save three towns.

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During the night of Sunday the residents of several villages had to be evacuated again from the beaches by ferries and Navy ships. Although many houses have been destroyed, so far the urban centers have been saved, thanks in part to the titanic struggle of the inhabitants themselves who did not want to leave their homes at the mercy of the flames and who reinforced the firefighters.

Extinguishing this fire continues to be particularly challenging, in part because the smoke emitted from the burning pine forests limits visibility, and in part because of the turbulence generated by the extreme thermal load.

In addition, the temperatures on the ground are so high that it is “like pouring water on the lava of an erupting volcano,” the lieutenant general of the fire brigade, Nikos Diamandís, told the media.

Another problem that is hindering the work of the firefighters is the constant change in the direction of the wind, which blew strongly during the weekend. During the morning of this Monday the air is calmer, which gives some hope that the fight against the fire could be somewhat more effective.

At the same time, problems with the island’s electricity supply continue and mechanics are having difficulty repairing the damage, as many roads have been rendered impassable precisely because of downed power poles or flames.

According to the National Observatory of Athens, in the seven days that Greece has been burning, at least 65,000 hectares have been burned, in what has been the greatest ecological catastrophe in the country. Of this total, 46,000 hectares have been destroyed in Euboea, 8,000 in the fires in the north of Athens and 11,000 in Laconia, in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula, data that will have to be adjusted in the coming days when the final dimension of the catastrophe.

According to the estimates of European Information System on Forest Fires so far, in Euboea approximately 38% of burned areas were forest areas and 24% other natural areas; in Attica the percentage of calcined forest was approximately 37% and in the other areas 34%, while in Laconia 7% was forest zone and 55% other natural areas.

Greece is counting on the help of firefighters, ground and air resources from Spain, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sweden, Egypt, Romania and Ukraine, and also expects more help from France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic , United Kingdom, Qatar and Kuwait.

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