As fires rage in Greece, residents forced to evacuate villages
Over a thousand firefighters battled wildfires in Greece on Tuesday, as one of the largest raged through a nature reserve on the island of Evia north of Athens, according to The Associated Press and local news outlets.
The fire on Evia caused four villages and a monastery to be evacuated. It has destroyed homes in one of the four villages but has not claimed any victims, The National Herald reported on Tuesday.
Four firefighting planes were being sent from Croatia and Italy to aid in the efforts, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was reportedly vacationing on the Greek islands before learning about the fires and returning to Athens to visit the fire department's main coordination center.
In an Instagram post written in Greek and translated by Newsweek, he thanked firefighters for their work and said the Greek government's main concern was protecting human life.
Strong winds in Evia and around Greece caused the fires to spread quickly. Fires have been breaking out around the country since early last weekend, according to Greek national news reports.
People took to Twitter to share videos of the winds carrying thick clouds of smoke over the beaches and mountains. Greek video journalist Savvas Karmaniolas posted multiple video clips from Makrimalli, one of the villages affected in Evia.
Some of the fires reportedly broke out on the northern island of Thassos, in the town of Thebes outside of Athens and on the southern island of Elafonisos. A big fire that spread quickly on Mount Hymettus, located 18 kilometers east of Athens, was seen from the Greek capital early Monday morning. At least one social media user posted a photo of the blaze from what she said was around 5:30am local time.
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