Power has been cut off to large parts of the Greek island of Rhodes due to wildfires that have spiraled out of control. Greek media reported that several places were evacuated on the popular holiday island, which has a population of more than 100,000. Residents and tourists alike had to find a safe haven. Hundreds of people, including tourists, have also been evacuated in southern Italy.
Rhodes is located in the Mediterranean Sea off the Turkish coast, which is also affected by the intense forests and wildfires there. The whole area suffers from a heat wave, which also makes it dry.
Italy was also hit by forest fires. At least five people were injured in a forest fire near Pescara in Abruzzo, southern Italy. Hundreds of people, including tourists, were evacuated. Italian media reported that a five-year-old girl was taken to hospital, but her condition is not said to be life-threatening.
About 800 people were evacuated from their homes, including a community of nuns, after a fire broke out in the Pineta d’Annunziana Nature Reserve. “We had to evacuate many beach houses and resorts because of the smoke,” said Carlo Massi, Mayor of Pescara. “The biggest problem is the hot wind. We are doing our best to limit the damage.”
More than 800 fires were recorded this weekend, according to the Italian fire service, mainly in the south of the country. “In the past 24 hours, firefighters have carried out more than 800 interventions: 250 in Sicily, 130 in Puglia and Calabria, 90 in Lazio and 70 in Campania,” the fire service wrote on Twitter.
Much of southeastern Europe is currently experiencing one of the worst heat waves in decades, with temperatures soaring above 40°C. In addition to Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey have been hit by violent forest fires.
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