Sunday, 23 August 2009

S.O.S. Greece is in flames

Forest fires which started to the north and east of Athens on Friday are now out of control. Winds of up to 8 Beaufort, tinder dry forests and high summer temperatures have left the fire services unable to cope with the number and strength of the fires. At present some 83 different fires are blazing in the country and in the northern suburns of Athens, Pendeli, some 10 thousand residents have been evacuated from there homes.
The media are already talking of the worst environmental disaster ever, surpassing even the horrendous fires of summer 2007 when 70 people died and some 6% of the nation's woodlands were devasted. The situation currently looks like it will deteriorate as winds of 6-7 Beaufort are expected on Monday. The smoke and high winds are making the situation extremely difficult for the fire services and when darkness comes this evening the aircraft and helicopters will be forced to stop ditching water on the blazing forests. The areas around Athens in immediate danger are Varnavas, Grammatiko, Marathon, Peneli, Drafi, Pikermion and Pallini. A state of emergency has been declared in the area.

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