‘Largest Evacuation Operation’ for Rhodes Fire

Rescuers carried out “the largest evacuation operation ever carried out in Greece” on the tourist island of Rhodes where a violent fire raged on Sunday, for the sixth day in a row, said the police spokeswoman. “This is the largest evacuation operation ever carried out in Greece (…) Everything went well. Everyone, especially tourists, followed what we ordered,” said Konstantia Dimoglidou.

Some 30,000 people had to leave their homes or hotels on Saturday because of the fire in the east of this island in the Dodecanese archipelago while the tourist season is in full swing. According to the police quoted by the Greek news agency ANA, around 19,000 people were evacuated as a precaution, of which 16,000 were by land and 3,000 by maer. A total of twelve localities were evacuated, including Lindos, one of the island’s main tourist attractions with its hilltop Acropolis.

A popular tourist island

The approximately 30,000 people who had to leave their homes or hotels were sheltered in gymnasiums, schools or conference centers for the night. Panagiotis Dimelis, a local elected official from the village of Archangelos, described on Skai TV “an unprecedented situation”. The fight to contain the fire will take several more days, according to the authorities. The wind, which stirs it up, “should strengthen between midday and 5:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. GMT)”, warned a spokesman for the firefighters, Vassilis Vathrakoyiannis.

Temperatures exceeding 44°C are expected for this Sunday in Greece. According to the national meteorological observatory, this country is “probably” going through the longest heat wave in its history. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a crisis unit in Athens to facilitate the repatriation of foreign tourists. The island of Rhodes, which has more than 100,000 inhabitants, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, with British, German or French tourists. Rhodes recorded some 2.5 million tourist arrivals last year.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here