Wildfires Ravage Greece: Evacuations, Investigations, and Tragic Loss

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The district of Ano Liosia in northwest Athens, home to over 25,000 people, underwent an evacuation process, although some residents chose to remain in their homes to safeguard their properties.

In the northeastern region of Evros, near the Turkish border in Alexandroupolis and the Dadia forest, wildfires continued to spread uncontrollably for the fifth consecutive day, posing a threat to the habitats of rare birds of prey.

Additional evacuations were mandated in the area overnight to ensure the safety of residents. However, false rumors and allegations blaming migrants for the fires have been rapidly circulating on social media. In response to these claims, Greece’s Supreme Court Prosecutor has instructed local authorities to investigate the causes of the devastating fires as well as accusations of racism towards migrants.

In northern Greece, three individuals were apprehended by Greek authorities on Tuesday for forcibly confining undocumented migrants in a cargo trailer, implicating them in the outbreak of the fires. Tragically, the recent wave of wildfires has resulted in the loss of twenty lives. Among the victims, eighteen individuals, including two children, were discovered deceased on Tuesday in a forest fire situated near the Turkish border north of Alexandroupolis.

As no reports of missing local residents were filed, the fire department spokesperson, Yiannis Artopios, mentioned during a televised address that an investigation is underway to determine whether the deceased individuals are migrants who entered the country unlawfully. Furthermore, on Monday, another individual, believed to be a migrant, was found dead in a nearby forest. Previously, an elderly shepherd was also discovered deceased in central Greece on Monday.

According to the National Observatory of Athens, approximately 40,000 hectares (nearly 99,000 acres) of land have been devastated by wildfires within a three-day period, from August 19 to 21. Meteorologists predict that the sweltering and arid conditions, which heighten the risk of fires, will persist until Friday.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024