DrTurkey is battling the worst forest fires in its history, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The head of state said this in a television interview on Wednesday evening. In wildfire areas near the West Coast, a coal-fired power plant caught fire. “The fire spread to the site of the power station,” Milas Mayor Mohamed Tokat wrote on Twitter. The power plant has been completely disinfected.
Environmental activists have warned that coal supplies can ignite and release toxic gases. Demiroren News Agency reported that flammable liquids tanks at the power plant site have been emptied as a precaution.
Fires in the tourist area, fanned by high temperatures and strong dry winds, have forced thousands of Turks and vacationers to leave their homes or hotels. Eight people have died so far. The fires broke out more than a week ago, and 16 fires were not extinguished on Wednesday, according to government information.
Endangered Ancient Olympia in Greece
On the island of Evia, north of the Greek capital Athens, a fire got out of control, destroying several villages and threatening a monastery. The well-known ancient village of Olympia on the Peloponnese Peninsula was also threatened by new fires.
Several villages in Evia were affected. The mayor of a nearby town, Argyris Liakos, spoke on television of “at least 150 burned down houses”. According to local media reports, three monks refused to leave St. David’s Monastery in the north of the island. “The flames are between 30 and 40 meters high and have surrounded the monastery,” one of the monks told the Greek news agency by telephone. “We almost suffocated because of the smoke.” And in the evening, according to the agency, the monks were taken to safety.
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