Hospital Evacuated After Wildfire Breaks Out In Greece

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Athens: A wildfire fuelled by strong winds broke out in the Greek port city of Patras on Tuesday, authorities said, forcing a children's hospital and residents to evacuate.

Patients were transported to other facilities elsewhere in the city as 80 firefighters, 25 vehicles and 10 water bombers battled the blaze.

Residents in three areas of Patras -- Greece's third largest city located in the Peloponnese region -- left their homes and took refuge in the city centre, civil protection officials said on X.

Other regions issued wildfire warnings as Greece faces what Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister Vassilis Kikilias has said is its "worst wildfire season in 20 years".

Patras Mayor Kostas Peletidis told public broadcaster ERT that the situation was improving.

"Of course it's not over," he said, "but for now no house is being threatened" by the flames.

Other wildfires broke out across Greece Tuesday, spurred by high winds and soaring temperatures.

The National Observatory of Athens recorded 37 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit) in the region of Attica, which wraps around Athens.

Authorities warned against a "very high risk" of wildfires in six regions Wednesday, including in central Greece, Peloponnese, Attica and northeastern Aegean Sea islands like Lesbos.

Parts of the country will see temperatures exceed 40C with peaks at 41-42C and 39-49 kilometre-per-hour winds (24-30 miles per hour), according to weather forecaster Meteo.

Strong winds and drought conditions have fanned fires in recent weeks in the area around Athens, on the island of Chios near the Turkish mainland and in Peloponnese.

While June temperatures in Greece normally do not surpass 30-31C, the country recorded in 2024 its hottest June since 1960, experts have said.

Scientists say climate change makes extreme weather events including heatwaves more likely, longer-lasting and more intense.


The Peninsula

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