Violent wildfires and constant heat of 40 degrees and more make the southern holiday countries of Greece, Italy and Turkey difficult. In Italy, fire brigades carried out more than 800 missions to fight raging wildfires within 24 hours, according to a tweet on Saturday. Turkish forces also fought massive forest fires in the country for the fourth consecutive day. Greece expects temperatures of up to 46 degrees, according to meteorologists, a “historic heat wave”.
In Sicily alone, rescuers deployed 250 times. In the east of the famous holiday island, Friday burned at the gates of the coastal city of Catania. Thick smoke spread over many apartment buildings. Catania Airport was forced to temporarily halt operations. According to ANSA news agency, about 150 people from the Catania region were taken to safety, who were trapped in the flames and fled to the beach. The police took them there on their boats. Pictures from the Sicilian Civil Protection showed how a beach holiday complex near Catania caught fire and helicopters hovered over extinguished water tanks.
The regional president of Sicily, Nilo Musumesi, wrote on Facebook of “devastating” the result of the rising temperatures. According to him, investigators found that some of the fires were behind some of the fires. They do irreversible damage to the heritage of the forest and put people at risk. According to Musumeci, the heat wave in Sicily is supposed to last until August 6. In other parts of Italy, the fire brigade has also been called up for several wildfire operations. On the holiday island of Sardinia, fires recently caused extensive damage to the west.
Forestry Minister Bekir Bakdemirli announced on Twitter, Saturday, that ten fires are still active in Turkey, including three in the popular holiday region of Antalya. Of the 98 fires that have broken out in several counties since Wednesday, 88 are under control. The fires are badly lit on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Strong winds made it difficult to put out the fire. Many areas and hotels were evacuated, and tourists were taken to safety by boat.
According to official information, the fires have claimed five lives so far. Meanwhile, the media reported the killing of six people. The reason is still not clear. Turkish authorities are investigating in all directions and do not rule out arson. On the Turkish Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, extreme heat is expected to reach more than 40 degrees in the next few days.
Greece was also hit by a severe heat wave. According to weather experts, thermometers should hit 46 degrees during the day on the weekend and throughout the next week. Also in Rhodes the weather will be hot next Tuesday with temperatures around 44 degrees. It stays hot at night, especially in urban areas, where temperatures are well over 30 degrees. Some meteorologists have already talked on the radio about a “historic heat wave”.
Due to the severe drought, several fires broke out on Saturday afternoon. The northern side of the Peloponnese was the hardest hit. According to the authorities in the Ziria region, several homes were destroyed and a children’s tent vacated. Due to the thick smoke, the highway between Athens and the port city of Patras was temporarily closed, state radio reported on Saturday evening.
Greek Civil Defense has been put on alert after an emergency meeting. Additional air-conditioned tents and containers have been provided at migrant registration camps on islands in the eastern Aegean. Cities have opened air-conditioned halls for residents who do not have air conditioning at home. The Labor Department said outdoor work should be reduced as much as possible. It was not clear on Saturday when the heat wave would subside. Some meteorologists fear that this dangerous situation could last for up to two weeks.
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