Brussels (Brussels Morning) Wildfires continued to burn across Greece and Turkey on Saturday, forcing thousands of people to evacuate.
The fires in Greece broke out on Tuesday amidst the worst heat wave the country has experienced in the last three decades, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Greek officials warned that 55 wildfires were raging in the country on Saturday. On the island of Evia, 39 villages have been evacuated as advancing fires have destroyed buildings and killed animals. Two people were killed and 20 hospitalised, DW reported.
Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, detailing the government’s plans to aid victims, promised that “when this nightmarish summer has passed, we will turn all our attention to repairing the damage as fast as possible, and to restoring our natural environment again”.
Cyprus, France and Israel have sent reinforcements to help contain the wildfires in Greece, while Germany is to deploy firefighters and equipment there in the coming days.
Eight dead in Turkey
In Turkey, five wildfires were burning on Saturday. The fires are the worst in the country’s history, according to President Recep Erdoğan. Eight people have died since the fires first broke out in Turkey 11 days ago, forcing thousands to evacuate and destroying tens of thousands of hectares of vegetation.
Rain helped firefighters to bring the wildfires in Antalya Province under control, but five areas continued to blaze around the city of Muğla in the neighbouring Muğla Province, forcing the evacuation of three neighbourhoods.
On Saturday, Bekir Pakdemirli, Turkey’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, calculated that all told 200 fires had struck 47 provinces.
Meanwhile, In Russia, authorities were struggling to contain more than 250 wildfires on Saturday, eight regions having declared states of emergency. The Republic of Sakha reported a total of 93 wildfires that had destroyed roughly 1.1 million hectares of vegetation.
In the US, wildfires broke out in northern California, where authorities on Saturday stated that eight people were missing.