Wrath of Nature: Southern Europe Fights Raging Wildfires, Evacuations Underway

After devastating floods in Western Europe, ravaging wildfires have spread across parts of southern Europe, tearing through the Spanish and Greek countryside. After Southern Turkey, wildfires are raging in Spain, Greece and Italy where thousands of people are fleeing from their homes amid a rise in the death toll.

For the past couple of days, devastating wildfires have burned across parts of Southern Turkey prompting the evacuation of dozens of villages in tourist hotspots as the number of dead people rose to eight. Five fires continued to burn near the coastal cities of Antalya and Mugla, where firefighters have been combating the blazes for 3 days straight. According to the authorities, 107 fires were “under control,” while several others are being dealt with.

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

After Southern Turkey, wildfires are raging in Spain, Greece and Italy where thousands of people are fleeing from their homes as death toll rises | Image: Reuters

Many fires were still blazing in Manavgat, in Marmaris and the inland town of Milas, where evacuation of some residential areas and hotels was underway. After Turkey activated a disaster response scheme to request help, the European Union helped mobilize three fire-fighting planes on Sunday, one from Croatia and two from Spain.

Meanwhile, firefighters were trying to control a major blaze near Patras in western Greece that destroyed around 20 houses and left 15 citizens in hospital with respiratory problems. The fires consumed 30 houses, barns, and stables in the villages of Ziria, Kamares, Achaias and Labiri. Temperatures have been high in much of the country in recent days and are expected to reach 44 degrees Celsius in the coming days.

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

A helicopter flies above a fire at Le Capannine beach in Catania, Sicily, Italy | Image: Roberto Viglianisi/Reuters

Italy was hit by fires once again after over 20,000 hectares of forest, olive groves and crops were demolished by a blaze in Sardinia last weekend. Apparently, more than 800 flames were recorded this weekend, mainly in the south. On the Italian island of Sicily, firemen were fighting wildfires for a second consecutive day that reached the town of Catania.

Reportedly, firefighters have carried out more than 800 interventions – 250 in Sicily, 130 in Puglia and Calabria, 90 in Lazio and 70 in Campania in the past two days. There were still many major blazes in the Sicilian cities of Catania, Palermo and Syracuse.

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

A fire at Le Capannine beach in Catania, Sicily, Italy | Image: Roberto Viglianisi/Reuters

In Spain, firemen were trying to contain a wildfire with the help of a water-dropping aircraft near the San Juan reservoir, about 40 miles east of Madrid.

The dry conditions and high winds have exacerbated the situation throughout southeast Europe. Experts believe that global heating has increased the frequency and intensity of such blazes, while Turkey is suffering its worst fires in at least 10 years, with nearly 95,000 hectares burnt so far this year.

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

Smoke rising from a wildfire near Marmaris, Turkey | Image: Reuters

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

Firefighters have been relentlessly trying to contain wildfires across southern Europe | Image: Reuters

Wildfires Ravage Southern Europe, People Evacuate as Death Toll Rises

An aerial photograph of houses surrounded by a wildfire that engulfed a Mediterranean resort region on Turkey’s southern coast near the town of Manavgat | Image: AFP

Via: France 24

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