News World Fire rages on Greece's Evia, threat to people averted

Fire rages on Greece’s Evia, threat to people averted

Aircraft sprayed water early on Wednesday in a bid to douse the flames of a huge wildfire on the Greek island of Evia that had prompted the evacuation of villages and spurred an appeal from authorities for assistance from European partners.

A state of emergency has been declared in regions of the densely-forested island east of Athens, after the blaze broke out on Tuesday, fanned by strong winds and high temperatures.

Italy sent two aircraft after an appeal for airborne firefighting equipment from Greek authorities. Officials said the situation appeared better by morning after firefighters spent the night battling flames.

“The situation appears better, there was a huge effort (to contain the fire), superhuman efforts,” Kostas Bakoyannis, the regional governor for central Greece, told Skai TV.

Water dumping by specially-equipped aircraft started at first light. “It is a difficult fire, that’s the reality … there is no danger to human life and that is what is important,” Bakoyannis said.

Fire officials said four villages and hundreds of people were evacuated as a precaution on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis interrupted his holiday on Crete to return to Athens where he was briefed on the situation.

Television images showed flames and plumes of black smoke on mountainsides carpeted in pine. Parts of Evia’s forests are a Natura 2000 site, which the European Union designates as a nature reserve.

Greece often faces wildfires during its dry summer months, and authorities have warned of the high risk of blazes this week. Environmental campaigners see an increasing number of wildfires around the world as a symptom of climate change.

A horrific blaze that tore through the seaside town of Mati near Athens in July 2018 killed 102 people in a matter of hours.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Fifteen centuries, two faiths and a contested fate for Hagia Sophia

A Turkish court on Friday annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a museum, opening the way for the sixth-century building to...

Yellow alert for extreme high temperatures

The Department of Meteorology issued on Friday a yellow alert for extremely high temperatures on Saturday. The alert is in force from 11 am until...

Three new Covid-19 cases, one a football player who arrived from Serbia

Three more people have tested positive for coronavirus after 1247 tests, bringing the total to 1013, the Health Ministry said on Friday. The two positive...

New Energy Minister Natasa Pilides sworn in

New Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry of Cyprus Natasa Pilides assumed duties on Friday, with the promise to work hard to continue the...

Turkish court paves way to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque

A Turkish court annulled on Friday a 1934 government decree turning Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for the building's conversion back into mosque...

Taste

Moungra

Moungra is a traditional Cypriot mezze which consists in cauliflower pickled in fermented bread dough and typically served as an appetizer or meze. It...

Cheesy Eggplant Rolls

Ingredients 4 Eggplants 2 tbsp olive oil 1 chopped onion, 2 grated carrots 1 garlic clove (sliced) ¾ of the cup finely chopped canned tomato, ½ ts sugar 1 ts oregano 2 tbsp...

Black eyed peas with chard (Louvia me laxana)

Ingredients: 2 cups black eyed peas small lemon (juice) + 1 tsp lemon zest 1 bunch Cypriot chards olive oil & lemon for serving salt & pepper Method: Step 1 Put the...

How to make triandafillo ice cream, by UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin

  Just in time for the scorching heat, UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin has shared her recipe for refreshing triantafillo ice cream -- or as...