Wildfires in Greece largely contained, new heatwave looms

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Due to the scorching heatwave, authorities have advised people to stay home, leading to the closure of popular tourist destinations, such as Athens' historic Acropolis, during the hottest parts of the upcoming weekend.

This weekend could potentially become Greece's hottest July in half a century, according to a leading meteorologist in the country.

While battling numerous wildfires, firefighters are facing an uphill battle. Emergency and civil protection officials are issuing warnings about the high risk of new fires across Greece. Western Attica, Laconia in the southern Peloponnese, and the island of Rhodes are among the hardest-hit areas.

To assist in combating the fires, Greece's European Union partners have offered assistance, including firefighting planes from France and Italy, as well as over 200 firefighters from Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Even neighboring Turkey is contributing aircraft to aid in the efforts.

Earlier this month, Greece, like several other European nations, experienced an extended period of extreme heat. Unfortunately, this heatwave coincides with one of the busiest times for Greece's tourism industry.

According to the latest bulletin from the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS), central and eastern regions of Greece are expected to soar to temperatures of up to 44C on Saturday. Sunday is predicted to be even hotter, with central Greece potentially reaching 45C.

Panagiotis Giannopoulos, a meteorologist with state broadcaster ERT, warned, "This weekend risks being the hottest recorded in July in the past 50 years." He further added, "Athens will experience temperatures above 40C for six to seven days, lasting until the end of July."

Although a slight drop in temperatures is anticipated on Monday, another surge of scorching heat is expected on Tuesday. Authorities fear that this heatwave could be the most severe since the summer of 1987, during which hundreds of deaths were linked to the extreme weather.

Several areas in Greece have already fallen victim to devastating wildfires, resulting in the displacement of numerous individuals. Whole villages have been consumed by the flames. A displaced resident shared his plight with the BBC, explaining that he no longer has a bed to sleep on and has sought shelter in a hotel.

Furthermore, Spain and Italy have also experienced intense heat this week, like several other Mediterranean countries, while certain regions of the United States are witnessing record-breaking temperatures.


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