Villages evacuated in Evia as fire rages out of control

Evia fire

Evia fire

Hundreds of firefighters continue to battle the blaze in central Evia and have evacuated four villages, as the fire is moving south and is out of control.

Residents of Platania, Makrymalli, Kondodespoti and Stavros villages have been evacuated to Psahna (which is south of the blaze), as the fire that continues to spread in these four villages have been declared a national emergency.

The latest area to be evacuated, the village of Platania was cleared out by the ringing of the church bells, which summoned the approximate 50 residents at the main square, from which they were transferred elsewhere.

As well as trying to extinguish the flames, the 227 firefighters along with 75 fire engines, six aircrafts, six helicopters, two units of the army, volunteers and ten water-dispensing vehicles, are also battling strong winds.

Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis and Fire Brigade chief Vassilis Mattheopoulos are currently on the island coordinating actions, while Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is heading to the Fire Brigade's Operation Center in Halandri.

Greece's Civil Protection authority are warning people in affected areas, particularly the elderly, young children and those suffering from breathing or heart conditions, to remain indoors and set air conditioning units to recycle the inside air.

The European union Civil Protection Mechanism will also send air assistance to fight the fire. The coordinating EU body has set up a volunteer force of member-states' airplanes that can intervene when requested in disasters, especially for fires.   Latest reports have stated that airplanes have so far taken off from Croatia and Italy, with other EU member states expected to respond soon.

This is a developing news story.