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Heatwave fire chaos: 30,000 people evacuated in Rhodes

Heatwave fire chaos: 30,000 people evacuated in Rhodes

The longest heat wave on record looms in Greece. Thousands of tourists are fleeing massive forest fires, mainly in Rhodes.

Thousands of tourists flock to the resort island of Rhodes to escape a massive wildfire, which can also be seen from the air as a huge firewall. Forest fires have been raging in Rhodes since last Tuesday. Most of the people were brought to the southeast of the island.

Greece was expecting one of the longest and most intense heatwaves in the country. A high of 44 degrees Celsius is expected in Athens on Sunday.

Thousands of people were evacuated directly from the beach

2,000 people were evacuated from the beaches – some by ship. In addition to three coast guard vessels and a navy vessel, private boats also took part in the evacuation.

According to a special program broadcast on Greek television – reported by Agence France-Presse – a total of 30,000 people were transported to safety on Saturday evening. Local police initially spoke of evacuating 15,000 people.

Videos posted online show chaotic scenes of people fleeing the fire. Many were walking with their bags.

The British Embassy in Greece has set up an emergency hotline for tourists in Rhodes.

It seems that the German embassy initially hoped that the situation would calm down quickly.

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