Fires rage across southern Europe, including Turkey, Greece; forcing hundreds to evacuate

As wildfires claimed lives raged for the fifth day, dozens of villages were evacuated in tourist hotspots in southern Turkey and Greece, Italy, and Spain were also hit by blazes. Hit by soaring temperatures, strong winds and climate change, EU data shows that the wildfire is significantly more destructive than in previous years. Turkey has suffered from the worst fires, with nearly 95,000 hectares burnt so far this year. According to media reports, a neighbourhood in the Bodrum has been evacuated with strong winds from the Milas district fanned flames. It further stated that around 540 residents who could not leave by road were taken to hotels by boats. However, more evacuations were reported in Antalya. Last month, after hitting record levels, temperatures are set to remain high in the region. A temperature of 49.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Cizre.  The country's defence ministry released satellite images showing the extent of the damage. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised after it was realised that Turkey had no fire-fighting planes despite one-third of its territory being forested.  In 2021, Turkey has witnessed 133 wildfires so far, compared with 43 in the year between 2008 and 2020. Similarly, firefighters were also battling fires in Greece after a major blaze broke out on Saturday near Patras. Around five villages were evacuated, and eight people were hospitalised with burns and respiratory problems. Around 30 homes, barns and stables were consumed by flames in Ziria, Kamares, Achaias and Labiri. In Greece, around 13,500 hectares had been burnt, compared with an average of 7,500 from 2008-2020.

from asianetnews

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