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28 July 2023

High level of danger due to forest fires declared on the large islands of Greece

Greek Rhodes on Tuesday declared the highest - red - level of danger, which means an extremely high risk due to forest fires, according to European media.

The Greek Ministry of Climate Change and the Protection of Civilians also raised the threat level in Crete: the island now has the fourth of five possible danger categories in connection with fires.

More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in Rhodes since the weekend. This is the largest such rescue operation ever carried out in Greece. Temporary camps have been set up on the island to house those affected by the situation. British airlines Jet2 and TUI Airways have canceled all flights to Rhodes until 28 July.

The situation remains difficult on the islands of Euboea and Corfu. Firefighters are actively fighting the fire in the south of Euboea near the city of Karystos, but because of the rising wind, it has not yet been possible to stop the spread of fires. Rescuers carried out a night evacuation in the tourist area of Platanistos. Two helicopters and two planes were involved in extinguishing fires in Corfu, about 2.5 thousand people were evacuated.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking the day before in Parliament, said that the country "is at war with fires." "This is an uphill battle and will continue as long as the situation remains difficult," he said, adding that "three difficult days" lie ahead for Greece due to rising air temperatures.

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