Internet site of ancient Olympic Game titles threatened as Greece battles wildfire

ATHENS, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Greek authorities ordered villages close to the web page of…

ATHENS, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Greek authorities ordered villages close to the web page of the historical Olympic Games in the western Peloponnese to be evacuated on Wednesday as wildfires raged across the nation, destroying swathes of forest and structures, and sending hundreds fleeing.

Temperatures of additional than 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and strong winds have fanned far more than 150 wildfires in different regions of the country in recent times, introducing to the conflagrations in Turkey and other areas of the Mediterranean. read through far more

“We are however battling a titanic fight on a lot of fronts,” Deputy Civil Safety Minister Nikos Hardalias mentioned during a briefing, “The next days will be much more challenging.”

A dozen villages had been cleared near the archaeological web-site in the western Peloponnese area wherever the historic Olympic Games ended up held, and all-around 160 firefighters, with water bombing plane battled to help save the ancient treasures.

“We’re accomplishing our greatest to preserve this sacred spot,” nearby mayor Panagiotis Antonakopoulos, advised tv station Open up Television. “Immediately after human lives our precedence is to save our historical past.”

A firefighter sprays h2o in an try to aid fight a wildfire at Varympompi suburb north of Athens, Greece, August 4, 2021. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

The website, in which the Olympic flame begins its journey to the metropolis web hosting the modern day Olympics, is one particular of Greece’s most well known tourist sights. It was threatened by an before fire in 2007.

On the other facet of the state, rescue boats off the island of Evia in the vicinity of Athens, picked up some 85 men and women from the beach front as a wildfire engulfed the bordering pine forests filling the sky with thick smoke.

“It was burning all night time. The forest has been destroyed, villages were burned. We remaining powering our homes, we still left our pets,” Christina Katsini, a neighborhood resident, advised Skai Television set.

Reinforcements arrived from Cyprus, and firefighters from France and two plane from Sweden were being predicted by Thursday, a Civil Safety Authority spokesperson claimed but the nation was braced for even more battles in the times ahead.

Fires that experienced threatened residences on the northern outskirts of Athens on Tuesday eased a bit. But residents were instructed to continue to be indoors as a thick cloud of smoke hung over the town filling the air with dangerous particles and the scent of burning.

“I saved my pets, that is why I stayed,” explained 1 Varympompi resident, Panagiotis, standing among burned automobiles and blackened pine trees. “I have goosebumps just speaking about it all the houses around me burned, nothing’s still left.”

Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Karolina Tagaris Writing by Karolina Tagaris Modifying by Sandra Maler

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