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Sunday, March 3, 2024

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Rhodes Wildfire: Authorities Evacuate Stranded Tourists & Residents

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Rhodes, an island in Greece, has been witnessing deadly wildfires forcing thousands of people, both tourists and residents, to take shelter in schools and other safe areas. Many of them left the island on private boats as fire entered resorts and villages.

This has been Greece’s biggest successful rescuing in a situation like this where those stranded spent their time on streets and beaches. As rescue operations continued, around 19,000 people evacuated from homes and hotels overnight. The incident of wildfire started from Wednesday and has since spread wide from forest to places as far as the island’s south-eastern coast, where people were staying in resorts.

The fire affected everyone from man to animals as it forced tourists to flee their holiday destination in burning heat to find safe places and animals lay down dead, cars burned, trees all bared with burnt leaves.

Greek island Rhodes is one of the most favorite tourist destination which the British love most. It is situated on the southeast of mainland Greece and is highly preferred for its beaches.

The grave situation led many operators to cancel their flights directed towards Rhodes. TUI, a travel agency, said its workforce is working towards supporting its customers in every way possible and had also sent additional team to combat “a difficult and evolving situation.”

TUI and Jet2, which manage the majority of Rhodes’ tourism, planned 14 scheduled flights from the airport there, transporting around 2,700 passengers until 0300 local time (04:00 MUT), according to the Greek Ministry of Transport.

Shane and Charlie Murphy-Jones had arrived in Rhodes to attend a wedding and in the meanwhile they received an emergency message to leave their villa, in which they were staying, on Sunday night. Shane said, “We went from paradise to hell and it was crazy,” after arriving at Gatwick airport in London late Sunday.

Greece has witnessed many fire incidents, which have been a regular phenomenon. Climate change has add in to more heat all throughout Southern Europe and majority parts of the world.

In many areas of Greece over the past week, temperatures have surpassed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Emergency services had to cope with fires on the islands of Corfu, where officials authorised the preventive evacuation of many small towns, and the islands of Evia, east of Athens, and Aigio, southwest of Athens.

West of Greece, on the island of Corfu, fire was raging along a sizable front. According to a government official, boats in the vicinity had been sent to evacuate inhabitants by sea.

10% of the hotels in the central and southeast regions of Rhodes, according to a fire brigade spokesman, have been impacted by the flames. The parts in the north and west were unaffected. However, fires in Rhodes were mainly contained, according to an official of the government.

On Saturday, more than 3,000 tourists were transported from beaches by coast guard and private boats. When the flames spread to the seaside communities of Kiotari, Gennadi, Pefki, Lindos, Lardos, and Kalathos, many people ran from hotels.

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