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Fire in the Mediterranean: Fires endanger the ancient site of Olympia


The fire front of the "nightmare fire" in Athens has calmed down for the time being - new flames are now blazing on the Peloponnese peninsula. The fire has hit a coal-fired power station in the forest fire areas in Turkey.

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Forest fire near the ancient site of Olympia, Greece (on Wednesday)

Photo: Giannis Spyrounis / AP

More forest fires broke out in Greece and Turkey on Wednesday.

In the forest fire areas in Turkey, the flames have hit a coal-fired power station.

"The flames have spread to the site of the power plant," tweeted the Mayor of Milas, Muhammet Tokat, on Wednesday evening.

The power plant near the west coast of Turkey had been completely cleared.

A new forest fire in Greece endangers the village of Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula. The Greek civil defense ordered the residents to leave the place by SMS on Wednesday afternoon. In the immediate vicinity is the famous ancient site of Olympia, where the Olympic flame is always lit before the games. "We have formed a line of defense around the ancient site and the village," said the governor of the region Nektarios Farmakis on state television.

Reporters on site reported that the ancient site's own extinguishing system had been activated.

Water cannons spray everything around and in Olympia.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni is on the way from Athens to Olympia, reported the Greek state radio.

"We sent all our forces to Olympia to save human lives and our ancient tradition," said the mayor of Pyrgos to the Greek broadcaster Open.

Within eight hours, seven fires broke out around Olympia, said the head of the Greek civil service, Nikos Chardalias, on state television.

In doing so, he reinforced suspicions by residents that it could be arson.

In 2007, dozens of people were killed in devastating fires in this region in the west of the Peloponnese. The ancient site of Olympia had also been badly damaged at the time, and its own extinguishing system had not worked. The hill above the Holy Grove, known as the "Kronos Hill", was particularly affected. The ceremony to light the Olympic flame takes place there a few months before the summer and winter games. The Olympia Museum was saved at the last moment in 2007 when a fire fighting vehicle was deployed.

In Athens, the fire brigade spoke of a vicious circle on Wednesday: The wind in the fire region in the north of the capital subsided, so that the fire there could be largely contained. Instead, the whole city is now under a huge bell of smoke that does not evaporate due to the lack of wind. Only fresh gusts would help, but they could rekindle the fire. The temporary calm on the fire front is currently just that: for the time being.

More than 80 houses have fallen victim to the flames since the fire started on Tuesday.

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke of a "nightmare fire" during a visit to the region on Wednesday morning.

At the same time, there is great relief because the fire has not claimed any lives as things stand.

The residents of the evacuated places were initially housed in hotels at state expense, Mitsotakis promised to rebuild the houses.

In other holiday regions on the Mediterranean, for example in Italy and Croatia, devastating forest fires have been raging for days.

The EU sent planes, helicopters and firefighters to Greece, Italy, Albania and North Macedonia on Wednesday.

The EU Commissioner responsible, Janez Lenarcic, said that the EU was trying "around the clock" to provide support for the countries concerned.

He thanked Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Slovenia and the Netherlands for the rapid assistance made available through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

mwo / AFP / dpa / Reuters

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-08-04

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