Thick billows of smoke were visible from all parts of Athens: "Behind us is hell"
Photo: LYDIA VEROPOULOU / AFP
A fire in the northern suburbs of the Greek capital Athens has gotten out of control.
The flames were already reaching the first houses in the suburbs of Varybobi and Acharnes.
Residents left the affected areas in a panic.
“Hell is behind us,” a resident yelled from his car to local reporters.
About 80 children were evacuated from a holiday camp.
The civil protection agency warned residents to keep windows and doors closed to prevent sparks from entering their homes.
The fire is spreading rapidly from a forest to inhabited areas, announced the governor of the region Giorgos Patoulis and called on all people to leave the area where the fire raged immediately.
"Get out of your houses immediately," said the mayor of Acharnes, Spyros Vrettos, on state television (ERT).
The residents of the region received this message by SMS from the civil defense.
Thick billows of smoke were visible from all parts of Athens.
Weather experts have feared for days that fires of this magnitude could break out.
In the past week there have been more than 100 forest fires.
All of Greece has been hit by a historic heat wave for more than a week.
In Athens, the thermometers showed 44 degrees on Tuesday afternoon.
kim / dpa / Reuters