The historic heat wave in Greece continues. For more than a week, temperatures soared to over 40 degrees for several hours a day. In central Greece and the Peloponnese peninsula, peak values u200bu200bstill reach 46 degrees as of Friday. In Turkey too, people continue to fight violent wildfires and extreme heat. Eight people have died so far. The situation calmed down a little in Bulgaria and southern Italy.
A large fire broke out north of Athens, Greece, on Tuesday. A forest about 20 kilometers from the city center caught fire. Firefighting planes and helicopters were used to contain the flames, state television (ERT) reported. She added that due to the heavy smoke, the Athens road to northern Greece was temporarily closed.
The fire brigade also fought Tuesday night on the island of Rhodes against a fire in a forest and trees in a valley near the village of Maritsa, and the village had to be evacuated. Tourist facilities were not threatened. There were also smaller fires on the Peloponnese peninsula and on the Greek-Turkish border on the Evros River, the fire brigade announced. So far, there have been no casualties or injuries.
In light of the drought, the risk of a massive fire would be even after this heat wave was over, meteorologists warned: If winds blow, devastating fires could occur. In summer and especially in August, strong winds often blow in the Aegean, known as Etesia or Meltemi. Although they bring refreshments, they can easily start fires, which can quickly get out of control, weather experts have confirmed on state television. Dozens were killed in Greece in 2007 after a similar period of drought and heat followed by winds.
In Turkey, according to the authorities, 156 fires broke out in the country during the past week alone. 146 of them were brought under control Tuesday morning. Fires are raging mainly on the Mediterranean coast, especially in the regions of Antalya, Mugla and Adana. Many areas were evacuated, many villages and districts were destroyed by the fire, and many animals were not rescued.
In Bulgaria, forest and forest fires continue to rage at temperatures approaching 40 degrees and drought. The southern Balkan country was particularly affected on Tuesday, with the second-highest alert level being declared orange. The fires were brought under control, but not completely extinguished, as reported by the media in Sofia. In the remote village of Dolno Selo in the south, about 20 abandoned homes have burned down. People were not hurt. In the Pernik region, the fire destroyed about 100 hectares of forest, shrubs and dry herbs.
The persistent heat in Bulgaria eased somewhat on Tuesday, so that temperatures are no longer well above 40 degrees. In Sandansky on the border with Greece, 38 degrees have already been measured at noon. Forecasters did not expect a cold until Friday evening. There should be a new heat wave next week.
In Italy, where violent forest fires also raged in the south of the country, on the large islands and partly on the Adriatic coast, the situation has improved somewhat, the fire brigade announced. On Tuesday morning, 1,130 missions across the country in the past 24 hours were reported due to wildfires. Police arrested two rioters in Sicily on Monday. A statement on Tuesday said the carabinieri had arrested the two men red-handed in the central province of Enna, aged 80 and 25.
In the coastal town of Pescara in the Abruzzo region, pines and pines last burned in a well-known nature reserve. The police began investigating the cause. Homes were evacuated and many people were taken to safety. Also in Puglia, the emergency services fought day and night against the flames in the city of Gravina in Puglia. In the small Molise region, about 1,000 people were forced to temporarily leave their homes near Campobasso on Monday due to the flames.
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