It is unclear how many people were specifically affected by the evacuations. There is still no official information. Different numbers circulated in the Greek media. The public broadcaster reported in a special that night that 8,000 people had left the south of the island, which is popular with tourists, by land. The number could be even higher, he said. The newspaper “Ao Vima” reached 30,000 people.
Some of those affected were taken to safety on buses, some on boats: the Greek coastguard said, for example, that people were rescued by ships and boats from the beaches of Kiotari and Lardos, on the east side of the Mediterranean island. They were taken to another safe beach. According to the information, more than 30 private ships were involved in the evacuation operation. The convoy of ships was led by three Coast Guard ships.
The regional governor, George Hadjimarkos, told the Skai TV channel that the evacuations were complicated because the road connections were interrupted by the fire. “The objective is to protect human life,” he said. In some cases, tourists had to walk to safety because of fire-blocked roads. Two villages would have been evacuated. Authorities also asked people to leave the villages of Pefki, Lindos and Kalathos. In Kiotari, three hotels were damaged by the fire.
AP/Eurokinissi/Argyris Mantikos The evacuation operation involved more than 30 private vessels
Hundreds of residents offered help
Hundreds of Rhodians have volunteered to help the travellers, Greek television reported. A Greek navy ship was on its way to the disaster area to help with rescue operations, the coast guard said. Since the evacuation alarm was raised in the morning, tourists have been walking to the beaches.
Video footage shows some walking with children in the scorching sun. According to media reports, some of the tourists who have now been evacuated missed their flights from the island as the blaze cut off normal transport links.
While individual extreme events cannot be directly attributed to a specific cause, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is clear that extreme weather events such as floods, storms and heat are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of the climate crisis. That means: precipitation and storms are getting heavier, heat waves are getting hotter, and droughts are getting drier.
Heavy smoke formation
“It is the most difficult fire we have to deal with,” a spokesman for the Greek fire brigade said on Saturday. The flames grew out of control during the afternoon. Force six winds blow in the region. “The smoke is so heavy that it is difficult to breathe. People will be taken to the small town of Gennadi, from where they will be accommodated in other hotels,” Konstantinos Traraslias, deputy mayor of Rhodes, told Athens news channel Skai.
As the Athens government announced in the evening, eight people with breathing problems were taken to the hospital. The fire, which has raged in the mountains of Rhodes for four days, has turned towards the coast due to the change in wind direction and has surprised firefighters, a spokesman said.
APA/AFP/Eurokinissi/Eurokinissi Fires last several days
No end to the heatwave in sight
In Greece there is no end in sight to the heat wave. As the Meteorological Office announced on Saturday, values of up to 45 degrees Celsius are expected in the south of the country on Sunday. In the city of Larisa, in central Greece, the thermometer marked 44 degrees in the early afternoon of Saturday.
Also in northern Greece, there were values around 40 degrees in many places on Saturday. Even most islands in the Aegean sea have temperatures above 38 degrees. One of Greece’s leading meteorologists, Konstantinos Lagouvardos, estimated that “if things continue like this”, this heat wave could become the longest on record in Greece. In July 1987, a similar heat wave in Greece killed an estimated 1,300 people.
Forest fire in Rhodes
Thousands of people have been rescued to safety from a massive fire on the Greek island of Rhodes.
“Harder times” warning
Firefighters again warned of the great danger of forest fires. “We have even tougher times ahead,” a spokesman said on Saturday. The fires in the Athens area and on the Peloponnese peninsula were brought under control. But they exploded again and again because everything had dried up, they said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of firefighters from Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Malta have arrived in Greece to reinforce the fire brigade and are battling the flames. France, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Jordan are participating in the extinguishing work with firefighting planes and helicopters, announced the Greek civil defense.
Portal/Hazz Slovak Fire and Rescue Services No vent for firefighters
According to meteorologists, the heat wave will continue with small fluctuations next week. A new high is expected on Wednesday with temperatures around 46 degrees in southern Greece.
heat wave in Italy
Italian meteorologists also expect a new heat wave early next week. So, maximum temperatures of 47 to 48 degrees are possible between Sardinia and Sicily, wrote the meteorological service Ilmeteo.it on Saturday. The meteorological service of the Italian Air Force recorded 40 degrees from Palermo, the capital of Sicily, in the early afternoon of this Saturday. In Rome it was 37 degrees. 41.8 degrees had already been measured there last Tuesday.
Northern and central Italy were hit by heavy storms on Saturday: the area around Bologna and the Adriatic coast were affected. The meteorological service of the Emilia-Romagna region, whose capital is Bologna, also reported strong storms in the provinces of Reggio Emilia, Ferrara and Ravenna. Photos showed broken power poles, collapsed houses, scattered roof tiles and crashed cars. A video showed bathers fleeing en masse from the beach at Lido di Classe, near Ravenna. The exact extent of the damage has yet to be clarified.
Report: Several injured in the province of Ferrara
According to a report by the newspaper “La Repubblica”, three people were injured in the province of Ferrara. Strong hail storms were reported in the city of Bologna. Authorities warned against using underpasses and the danger of falling trees and road signs. Several rail lines in the region were also disrupted. There were reports of hail the size of tennis balls in some places. According to the meteorological service, wind gusts with speeds of up to 129 km/h were recorded.
There were also severe storms in the Marche Adriatic region, which borders Emilia-Romagna to the south. According to “La Repubblica”, a stretch of beach north of Ancona was surprised by a sudden and violent storm. While the beaches were still full of sunbathers, the sky darkened within minutes and strong gusts of wind uprooted dozens of parasols. The waves had penetrated as far as the sixth row of beaches and the deckchairs were floating in the water.
Strong storms hit northern Italy on Friday. Among other things, a video in which masses of water and ice ran through the streets of the small town of Seregno, in Lombardy, made noise.