Sorting by


Holidaymakers forced to flee on foot from hotels on Greek island of Rhodes as wildfires rage

Holidaymakers on the Greek island of Rhodes have been forced to flee their hotels on foot as wildfires rip across the island, triggering evacuations.

Tourists were left with little choice but to flee on Saturday as wildfires rapidly spread, with smoke and flames encompassing the island, threatening to engulf the usually-picturesque setting.

Evacuations have been declared in four locations across Rhodes, including two seaside resorts, with hundreds of firefighters called in to battle the fires.

Thousands of people were sent messages ordering them to evacuate homes and hotels to escape the out-of-control fires, with many holidaymakers taking to social media to describe the scenes of fear, confusion and chaos.

Terrified tourists criticised holiday operators for a lack of help, leaving them with little option but to flee on foot, with some abandoning heavy suitcases to make miles-long treks to safety.

Speaking to Sky News, tourist James Hall said: “It was a bit of madness this morning. We got the government text telling us to evacuate then we dragged our suitcases for two hours in 40°C heat.

“After the two-hour walk, we took refuge in a hotel. If we see any fire on a nearby hilltop we’ll have to evacuate again.

“We were meant to be picked up from our hotel at 7am but that seems to have burned down.

“We’ve heard nothing from our airline… if you were in a wheelchair the chances of you getting out in a timely manner were pretty much nil, there was very little help.”

Private boats have joined the Greek coastguard in helping to pick up people from beaches on the east of the island, and Greek navy vessels are also reported to be heading to the area to help with the evacuations.

Wildfires have been affecting Greece for days amid dry and warm conditions caused by a heatwave across southern Europe. Temperatures have stayed above 40°C across large parts of the Mediterranean as the wildfires rip through Greece.

Greece is facing further intense heat in the days ahead, with meteorologists warning that temperatures could climb as high as 45°C

It could turn into Greece’s hottest July weekend in 50 years, one of the country’s top meteorologists has warned.

Fire Service spokesman Yannis Artopios said more than 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines were operating on the ground, assisted by three planes and five helicopters.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button