Wildfires force evacuations as it rages for a week and brings devastating scale of ruins to a great part of southern Europe.
The devastating scale of ruins from wildfires that have been raging in Greece and Italy for a week was being assessed as the EU organizes one of its largest firefighting operations ever. The smoke emanating from forest fires in Siberia got to the north pole.
Firefighters Battle Massive Flames
On Monday, UN experts said global warming was developing more quickly than feared and that humanity was "unequivocally" to blame. For the seventh day in a row, firefighters along with local residents fought large flames on the island of Evia, east of Athens.
While addressing the nation (by a televised means), Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister rendered an apology for failings to deal with the flames. He said trees in affected regions would be replanted and this time with trees that are more fire-resistant. Also, from a €500m emergency relief fund, compensation would be taken care of.
Mitsotakis said in the past week, 586 fires had raged in all parts of Greece and that the outcome of the destruction had "darkened the hearts of all of us".
So far, over 2,600 people have been relocated from the second largest island in the country, Evia. They were conveyed on a flotilla of boats, with aged and sick people being compelled overnight Sunday to seek shelter on ferries or rest on sun loungers on the beach.
Multiple fires extinguished before had ignited again on Evia and were quickly moving towards yet more areas and Istaia, a 7,000-population town, Greek media reported.
Wildfires have consumed large regions in southern Europe as the area undergoes the most extreme heatwave it has experience in three decades.
In Turkey, Greece, and Italy, about twelve people have lost their lives with many more wounded. For several weeks, large fires have also been blazing across Siberia in northern Russia.
A Russian weather monitor said on Monday the forest fires consuming Siberia were getting worse as Nasa satellite images revealed smoke from burning forests moving 3,000km (1,850 miles) to arrive at the north pole, it called this "a first in recorded history".
The Second-worst Fire Season
Close to 3.4m hectares were blazing in Yakutia, the largest and coldest area in Russia, which is based atop permafrost, said the weather monitoring institute Rosgidromet.
Russia's forestry agency reveals that this 2021 fires have severely damaged over 14m hectares. This makes it the second-worst fire season since the turn of the century.
Greece has felt a rolling summer of heatwaves with extended and unusual periods of 45C-plus temperatures. Hopes of breathing space following a decline in temperatures over the weekend were brief, with scientists forecasting the country would go back to experiencing heatwave as of Monday, with winds picking up as well.
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