Monday, 24 August 2009

Athens - fire situation improves

Monday has seen an overall improvement in the situation due mainly to a lessening of what were on Sunday near gale force winds. Fire authorities and government officials now claim that they are getting on top of the situation. On Sunday over 10 000 residents were evacuated from the Athens suburb of Agios Stefanos as the fires approached residential areas.
Although there has as yet been no loss of human life the impact to the environment is a disaster of immense proportions. Over 30 000 acres, mainly forest, have been destroyed. The air in the city is filled with smoke and in coming years the city will certainly suffer the consequences of this destruction, which comes on top of the terrible fires of 2007.

This time, as in the past, there have been recriminations that the fires were started by those eager to develop land for residential purposes close to the already crowded Athens. The communist party has described the events of the week-end has a well-organised plan to make new building land available.

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