Saturday, July 18, 2015

Forest Fire in Athens currently under control

Forest Fire in Athens currently under control
© Picture: REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis
Wildfires threaten Greece's capital, Athens.. Clouds of smoke rose in the capital on - risk of resurgence remains high The Greek fire brigade has succeeded in the early hours of Saturday, to bring some of the forest fires in Greece under control. This was announced on Saturday morning with the spokesman for the Greek Fire Brigade Thomas Thomopoulos. The risk of a resurgence stay but large, it said. On Saturday strong winds in southern Greece were expected again.

As the fire department announced that 59 fires had on Friday nationwide erupted within a few hours. The largest of these were in the east of Athens, on the southern Peloponnese peninsula. France responded immediately to a call for help from Athens and sent two fire-fighting and a reconnaissance aircraft.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rushed to the crisis headquarters of the civil defense in Athens. He advised the people to stay calm, and ordered the use of the military in the unloading process. In addition, the European civil protection had been informed. Greece asked for four fire-fighting aircraft from other EU countries, the fire department said on Friday.

Outdated fire fighting aircraft
A Greek Löschflugzeug had to make an emergency landing due to a technical problem. Because of the serious financial crisis the machines are outdated and poorly maintained, reported Greek media. "The Greek fire brigade tried in Athens by all means to contain the flames. A convent and an orphanage were evacuated in Athens," said a fire brigade spokesman.

Forest Fire in Athens currently under control
© Picture: REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis

In Athens, the fire started in the morning in a small pine forest on the edge of suburban Ilioupolis. Because of the strong winds, the flames spread rapidly and threatened the first houses of the neighborhoods Kareas and Ilioupolis, Reporters from fire. Residents threw water out of buckets on the flames to contain them, like the Greek television showed. The smoke was seen for kilometers.

Another forest fire broke out on the eastern promontory of the Peloponnese near the town of Neapolis. Two villages with 200 inhabitants were evacuated, reported Mayor of the Region. Five lost houses were damaged, it said. The fire department put in both cases, a strong unit, extinguishing helicopters and aircraft against the flames. The smoke of these fires could be seen on satellite images. Other minor fire broke on the island of Evia and approximately 40 kilometers north of Athens. In Greece blew crosswinds of eight on Friday. Meteorologists warned that the weather conditions will continue to remain very unfavorable with strong winds.

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