Published On: Sun, Aug 11th, 2019

Greece fires map: Britons warned as hotels evacuated in level 5 red alert | World | News

The Greek island of Elafonisos in the Pelaponessus region has been struck by wildfires, triggering emergency evacuations of campsites and hotels. The popular holiday destination has been put on a category 5 red alert as the blaze spreads. No injuries have been reported at this stage.

The blaze is burning mostly on the island’s low, bushy vegetation.

Firefighters efforts to contain it are being hampered by strong winds.

Due to the combination of strong winds and a new heatwave which has gripped Greece this week, authorities have declared a state of ‘red alert’ for this weekend.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection has warned of extreme fire risk (category 5) across many parts of the country.

North of Athens in the Marathon municipality, another wildfire is raging in a forested region.

Text messages have been issued in both Greek and English from the authorities, urging everyone to “avoid actions which may cause a fire”.

The latest advice from the UK Foreign Office said: “On 10 August the Greek authorities reported a wildfire in Elafonisos in the Pelaponessus.

“They are evacuating nearby campsites and hotels.

“The authorities have raised the wildfire alert to category 5, red alert.

“You should follow the advice of the Greek authorities and monitor the website of the General Secretariat for Civil Protection for updates.”

The wildfires will prompt memories of the horrific Attica wildfires of 2018 which claimed 102 lives.

The fires were the second-deadliest wildfire event in the 21st century, after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Australia that killed 180.

The port town of Rafina and the village of Mati were worst hit, with the fire spreading too quickly for many residents to evacuate.

The flames were so intense that they trapped and burned people inside their homes and cars.

Bodies were found all along the coast as people had tried to flee to the water.

Some were found hugged each other as they met their grisly fate.

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