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Because of forest fires: Dozens of evacuations in tourist areas on the Mediterranean


Thousands of emergency services in Greece, Italy and Turkey have been fighting serious forest fires for days. The coast around Antalya is particularly hard hit - hundreds have been brought to safety by boat.

Enlarge image

Tourists in Bodrum watch the fire on a pier waiting to be evacuated

Photo: Emre Tazegul / AP

In several tourist areas on the Mediterranean Sea, severe forest fires continued to rage over the weekend.

Dozens of hotels and villages were again evacuated in southern Turkey, and residents and tourists also had to be brought to safety in the Greek Peloponnese.

Italy reported over 800 fires, including 250 in Sicily alone.

According to EU data, the fire season this year is significantly more devastating than usual.

The situation is particularly severe in Turkey, where the flames are repeatedly fanned by strong winds.

In the popular holiday resort of Bodrum, according to the broadcaster CNN Türk, an entire neighborhood was evacuated, 540 people had to be brought to safety by boat because the streets were no longer usable.

According to NTV, there were also evacuations in the resort of Antalya.

Two bodies were recovered there on Sunday.

The death toll since the fires started five days ago has risen to eight.

107 of 112 fires are now under control, said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli.

In the tourist regions of Antalya and Mugla, however, they continued to rage.

For Turkey it is the worst fires in a decade.

According to the authorities, almost 95,000 hectares of land have been destroyed by fires since the beginning of the year.

In the years 2008 to 2020 there was an average of only around 13,000 hectares in the same period.

In Greece, 300 firefighters continued to fight several fires in the Peloponnese on Sunday.

According to civil defense, 58 fires had broken out on the peninsula since Saturday, but most of them were quickly brought under control.

Around 20 houses were destroyed and eight people were injured.

Greece measures temperatures up to 44 degrees

Five villages near the city of Patras had to be evacuated.

Almost a hundred residents and tourists were also brought from the small seaside resort of Loggos to the nearby town of Egio.

The mayor of the village of Egialia spoke of a "tremendous catastrophe".

"We slept outside overnight, we were so scared that we would not have a house when we wake up," said a resident of the village of Labiri to the Skai broadcaster.

Extreme drought, strong winds and temperatures of well over 30 degrees trigger devastating forest fires in Greece every summer.

Since Friday, the country has suffered from another heat wave with temperatures between 42 and 44 degrees.

Experts see this as another sign of climate change.

More than 800 fires in Italy

The Italian fire brigade counted over 800 fires over the weekend, including in the southern regions of Apulia, Calabria and Campania as well as in central Italian Lazio with Italy's capital Rome.

Most of the fires broke out on the island of Sicily, which is popular with tourists.

There the fire brigade continued to fight fires near Catania, Palermo and Syracuse on Sunday.

The Coldiretti farmers' union has counted around 300 forest fires in Sicily since the beginning of the year.

She suspects that not only heat and drought are responsible for the large number, but also criminal machinations.

While temperatures of 39 degrees have been measured in Sicily in the past few days and 40 degrees in Bari, southern Italy, the north of the country is currently experiencing severe thunderstorms.

In Spain, the fire brigade fought a fire at the weekend near the San Juan reservoir, around 70 kilometers east of Madrid.

The authorities called on the population to stay away from the popular bathing area.

mjm / AFP

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-08-01

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