A British man stranded in Rhodes faced a second night in the airport with limited food as people scramble to leave the wildfire-ravaged island.
Greek authorities said 19,000 people had been evacuated across Rhodes due to the fires – 16,000 by land to other parts of the island and 3,000 by sea from 12 villages and several hotels.
On Sunday evening, Greece’s Emergency Communications Service issued evacuation orders for muliple areas of Corfu due to wildfires as well.
Those trying to get flights from Rhodes International Airport have faced delays and disruptions to their departure, with many being forced to try to sleep on the tiled airport floor.
Ben Wright, 29, from London, has been stuck in the airport for over 36 hours waiting for an EasyJet flight yesterday. Passengers had been told they could not leave the airport due to the fires.
“We don’t know what to do,” he told i. “It’s an absolute mess”.
A flight had boarded at the airport on Sunday evening but Mr Wright had given up that spot to those who needed access to medication. He later said that flight had been grounded and it was not clear if anyone would get out yesterday.
EasyJet has said two repatriation flights will fly between Rhodes and Gatwick today with another one scheduled for tomorrow.
But with little food, half an hour nights’ sleep, no showers and fear the fires were spreading further throughout the island, Mr Wright said people were getting more and more stressed.
“There’s kids crying and grown adults.
“You can see the desperation on people’s faces, you can see a lot of panic, a lot of shouting directed at the airport staff as they just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
He criticised EasyJet for the lack of communication, saying there were no staff on the ground to help and the company had been difficult to contact.
“EasyJet hasn’t been here at all, the organisation is completely inept.
“People are amazed at how poorly the reaction of EasyJet has been.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “We are actively monitoring the fires in Rhodes and are in close contact with local authorities.
The foreign office was sending five people from the Rapid Deployment Team and four British Red Cross responders to Rhodes airport to support British Nationals, the spokesperson said, assisting with travel documents and liaising with Greek authorities and travel operators on the ground.
i has contacted EasyJet for comment.