Video footage shows thousands of residents and tourists evacuating areas affected by the wildfires that have been ravaging Greece. Strong gusts of wind have driven the flames across the island of Rhodes, forcing an estimated 3,500 people from their homes and tourist accommodations.
Greek fire authorities reported that the evacuation on Saturday affected less than 10 percent of the island’s tourist accommodation but warned that fire risks remained high across the island and that extreme fire dangers were expected on the mainland.
The BBC report notes that Greek civil protection authorities have warned of the spread of wildfires and forecast temperatures could reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) during the record-breaking heatwave across Europe.
To deal with the situation, 266 firefighters, 49 fire trucks, five helicopters, and 10 aircraft, including two Turkish and one Croatian aircraft, were deployed to combat the flames.
Several videos shared on social networks show people walking on roads while thick clouds of smoke rise in the distance and hang over several buildings. In one of the videos, Jon Hughes, a tourist, criticized British airline Jet2 for their lack of help and guidance during the evacuation.
The situation has led to the cancellation of all flights to Rhodes by Jet2 until Sunday, July 30, while other airlines have also canceled their flights or are closely monitoring the situation. The fire is still out of control, and the authorities are working incredibly hard to contain it and protect the population and visitors to the island. The scale of the fires underscores the importance of addressing climate change and taking action to prevent and combat wildfires around the world.