This afternoon a major wildfire broke out in Stamata, East Attica causing officials to evacuate citizens. Residential areas have been encroached upon, with some residences in Stamata and Rhodopolis already destroyed. Officials worry that a new intense heatwave expected next week will only make matters much worse.
Giannis Kalafatelis, the Mayor of the Municipality of Dionysos spoke with reporters earlier telling them that the settlement of Galini has already been evacuated. Greece’s Civil Protection authority has issued a warning:
”If you are in Stamata, Rhodopolis, Ekali, Drosia, and Dionysos, close chimneys, windows, doors to prevent sparks from entering the building.”
AMNA news agency reported that two fire engines with a 68-member crew, three teams of firemen on foot, the municipality’s water trucks along with four firefighting aircraft and five water-dropping helicopters are currently battling the blaze. Fire Brigade’s spokesman Vassilis Vathrakogiannis told the news agency strong winds are making the job of putting out the blazes extremely difficult.
Officials fear a severe heatwave expected to hit Greece next week will cause more problems like the Stamata wildfires. The National Meteorological Service is warning of the dangers associated with the soaring temperatures Greece is likely to face for the next week. Meteorologists say the duration of this coming heatwave may be reminiscent of the 1987 scorching summer that killed 1,300 people.
Meteorologists say warm air masses moving in from North Africa to Greece will cause a significant rise in temperature from tomorrow. They go on to warn of an extended heatwave from Thursday until Tuesday of next week across the whole of Greece. According to the warnings, some areas will experience temperatures in the range of 43 degrees Celsius (109 Degrees Fahrenheit).