1,200 children evacuated from Greek holiday camps amid wildfires, says mayor - GulfToday

1,200 children evacuated from Greek holiday camps amid wildfires, says mayor


A burnt house is seen following a wildfire in the suburb of Lagonisi, near Athens, Greece, on Tuesday. Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Greek authorities on Monday evacuated 1,200 children from holiday camps threatened by wildfires burning near the seaside resort of Loutraki, the town's mayor said.

"We have saved 1,200 children who were in the holiday camps," Giorgos Gkionis told private television channel Skai, after wildfires whipped up by strong winds broke out near Athens on Monday amid a heatwave.

Villagers were ordered to leave their homes and hundreds of children were evacuated from a summer camp as two separate wildfires fanned by strong winds damaged houses to the southeast and west of Athens on Monday, authorities said.

The blaze that broke out in the village of Kouvaras, about 27 km (17 miles) from the Greek capital, spread fast amid erratic winds, a Greek fire service official said.

About 200 firemen with the help of around 20 soldiers, 68 engines and 16 aircraft were trying to control the flames, the official added.

Greek television showed several houses and cars gutted by the blaze and thick white smoke billowing from burning vegetation.

Fire burns inside a house following a wildfire in the suburb of Lagonisi, Athens, on Tuesday. Reuters

Nervous horses were moved away from burning stables to trucks in the nearby village of Kalyvia, Reuters footage showed.

"Due to high winds, the blaze spread across 12 kilometres in two hours," Greek Fire Service spokesman Ioannis Artopoios told a televised briefing, adding that police had detained a person suspected of arson.

Fire brigade services have been placed on standby in the wider Athens area.

Some 59 firemen with 19 fire engines and seven aircraft have been deployed to contain that blaze which forced police to shut part of a highway and disrupted train services.

The Greek meteorological service has warned of a high risk of fire, just as the country is recovering from the first major heatwave of the summer.

A second heatwave is forecast to affect the Mediterranean nation later this week.




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