Olympia saved from wildfires and monks refuse to leave burning island – follow live

Olympia saved from wildfires and monks refuse to leave burning island – follow live
Latest updates as wildfires rage for third day

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Firefighters battle wildfire overnight on Greek island of Evia

Greek authorities ordered more evacuations on an island near Athens on Thursday and battled a blaze near the site of the ancient Olympic Games in the western Peloponnese as wildfires raged for a third day.

Temperatures of more than 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and strong winds have fanned more than 150 wildfires in different areas of the country in recent days, adding to the blazes in Turkey and other areas of the Mediterranean.

More than a dozen villages have been evacuated on the island of Evia near Athens since Tuesday, with some 85 people rescued by boat from a beach, as the wildfire scorched pine trees and sent clouds of ashes and smoke spiralling into the air. Miles away, skies in Athens were darkened.

Authorities cleared more people on Evia today as church bells rang, warning that the fire was approaching. More than 170 firefighters with 52 engines and six aircraft were operating in the area. Two villages were evacuated in the Peloponnese region on Wednesday as a blaze raged near the archaeological site of the ancient Olympics.

After an all-night battle with the flames, firefighters appeared to have saved the site in ancient Olympia, with the ancient treasures out of danger, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni told ANT1 television.

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Video shows ‘heartbreaking’ wildfires on Greek island

This harrowing footage shows the raging fires on the Greek island of Evia. It was posted by climate activist Dr Lucky Tran, who wrote: “The scenes of the climate crisis this summer have been absolutely heartbreaking.”

Cyprus and France have sent disaster relief reinforcements and two aircraft from Sweden are expected later today as firefighters braced for another difficult day.

Sam Webb5 August 2021 10:37

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