Greece: devastating fires and criticism of the unpreparedness of public authorities

Greece continues to burn. Since July 17, the country has been plagued by numerous fires, the spread of which is facilitated by strong winds and high temperatures. Two regions are currently particularly affected by the flames, the island of Rhodes, not far from the Turkish coast and the mountain range of Dervenochoria, in the Attica region, 50 kilometers from Athens.

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In this sector, Savas gives the impression of straight out of the mine, with his hands completely blackened with soot. “The fire came slowly from the top of the mountain, the police put up a blockade and wouldn’t let us pass“, says this entrepreneur. Until this week, he was the head of a waste oil recycling plant, on the edge of a forest road. Now, only pestilential odors emerge from the smoking rubble.

“The fire then got out of control, we alerted the firefighters several times, but they couldn’t come. That’s why you have this huge disaster before your eyes.”

Savas

at BlazeTrends

A few kilometers further, Angeliki Philipi lives alone in the village of Stephani. Above his house, the helicopters tasked with drowning the flames are incessantly going back and forth. “You see there is fire over there, on the mountain opposite, shows this inhabitant. Me, it scares me very much, I fear that the fire could reach here. The day before yesterday, bulldozers came and dug holes to put out the flames. And now it’s burning again on the other side,” breathes Angeliki Philipi. The ambient din proves to him that the firefighters are at thework for protectionlight from the flames. So, she says, this unbearable noise partly reassures her.

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Public authorities criticized

Below, an Orthodox priest in a black cassock, Father Saradis, observes from an isolated church the white smoke which still emerges from a ground, already charred by fire. “All this mountainside has just burned, regret the priest. Three years ago, it was the other side, that third mountain there, a fire ravaged it in 1985, when I was 14 years old“. According to Father Saradis, in the end, nothing much has changed.”Now every two years, the mountain burns, and then it burns again! But how far will it go like this, when will it stop?“, he asks.

The monk thus becomes the spokesperson for many inhabitants of the areas affected by the fire, who do not understand why the Greek public authorities do not anticipate the arrival of the flames more, when the fires are a seasonal reality here.

Report: Greece affected by devastating fires

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