30,000 people directly threatened by a fire on the island of Rhodes. The authorities were able to shelter them or evacuate them from the island, where a forest fire has been raging for five days.
Hundreds of people were hurriedly evacuated from the island of Rhodes on Saturday afternoon 23 July to escape the flames, some of them not even having had time to get dressed, still in their swimming costumes. The order to evacuate began to circulate in the early afternoon, with the fire getting dangerously close to the tourist sites.
A fire fanned by strong winds and the heat wave
Thousands of tourists had to leave their hotels and beaches in a hurry, using every means possible. Some walked for miles to find boats that had been requisitioned, in order to get them to safety as quickly as possible, day and night. In all, 30,000 people were sheltered, according to the local authorities, and rehoused as a matter of urgency. A devouring fire that started five days ago, a wall of fire fanned by strong winds and a heatwave that is now out of control. The fire has moved closer to the coast and tourist areas. The beaches of Kiotari and Lardos have had to be evacuated.
The damage is already considerable. The wind is expected to strengthen in the afternoon, fanning the flames even further. The fire-fighting effort will take several days, according to the local authorities.