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Barbecue sets fire to Rhodes

29 July 2013 / 19:07:55  GRReporter
3640 reads

A man, aged 40, has been arrested for starting a fire blaze which has burnt more than 30,000 acres on the island of Rhodes. Today, when the temperatures are high and the wind is strong, he lit a fire for a barbeque in his courtyard which had caused the devastating blaze. He has been charged with arson by negligence and was brought before the public prosecutor on Monday. Meanwhile, the fire blaze is starting to retreat as the fire aviation forces have been spraying the affected area with water since morning.

The fire, which had started in the region of Messara, in Heraklion on Crete over the weekend, is under control as well. Firefighters were fighting the fire throughout Sunday night to limit its expansion and extinguish its outbreaks. The operation involved 18 fire engines, 40 firefighters, six water tanks of the local government organization and 14 foot soldiers.

The most dangerous was the situation on the island of Serifos where the locals and tourists ran to the sea to escape from the fire. It had broken out in the forests above one of the beaches on the island. The residents in the area were helping the adults and children board boats to escape from the damaging fire by water. Others were trying to bring the flames under control, using hoses and items at hand.

"There were no police to help us. There was panic. The children were crying in fear, the foreign tourists did not know what to do. The only way out was by boats," photographer Chloe Κrithras Devienne, aged 25, describes the situation on Serifos, cited by Ethnos newspaper. "I was holding a hose in one hand and a camera in the other," says the girl who was fighting the fire along with the locals. "The fire started from above and trapped us on the beach. We put towels on our faces to protect ourselves from the smoke, we were running panic-stricken to escape, trying to convince the adult women to board the boats. They did not want to leave their homes," says Chloe.

According to the fire brigade, the peoples’ lives were out of danger but the testimonies of eyewitnesses suggest otherwise. One of the most serious problems in addition to high temperatures was the smoke that began to suffocate some of the people in the area. According to the publication, there was no need for medical care.

The civil protection department announced on Monday that the regions of Attica, Agrosaroniko, Viotia, Evia, the Cycladic Islands and a large part of the Dodecanese are at the greatest risk of fire equal to category five.

Meanwhile, the meteorologists are warning that the next two days will be extremely hard and the temperatures in many regions in Greece will be about 40°C in the shade. The weather will be hottest in the western parts of mainland Greece, the Peloponnese and Thessaly. It is expected that it will be particularly hot in the regions which are located away from the coast and in Attica. The heat wave will weaken from Thursday onwards.

Athens Medical Association is warning citizens and tourists to avoid going out at noon and in the afternoon, except in cases of emergency. If you have to go out during the summer heat, the experts recommend that you wear a hat, sunglasses, and drink, all the time, plenty of liquids (water and juice), eat light snacks and prefer fruits. On those days, save your energy and avoid physical stress, and wear light clothing in bright colours which allows your body to “breathe”.

Adults, children, infants, heart patients, alcoholics, those suffering from disorders of the central nervous system, and people with respiratory problems are at particular risk during hot days.

Tags: SocietyFiresRhodesCreteGreece
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