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The queues of tourists fleeing the fires in Rhodes: “It looks like the end of the world” –

The queues of tourists fleeing the fires in Rhodes: “It looks like the end of the world” –

Gray rain fell on tourists fleeing the beaches of Rhodes, as firefighters have been battling blazes fueled by high temperatures and strong winds for six days. The images of the Greek island engulfed in flames are surreal: they appear A river of people briskly briskly down the street, carrying luggage and children on their shoulders, looking for a place of safety.
Evacuations began on the island on Saturday night, in the largest effort of its kind Greece has ever seen.
The first police reports speak of 19,000 people, including vacationers and residents, I was able to leave the threatened areas, and welcome them in gyms, schools and convention centers. Two thousand people were stranded on the beaches near Kiotari and LardosAs the fire was still out of control, it was evacuated by sea in the process Saturday night about twenty boats participated.
with Strong winds and flames reaching 5 meters in some placesThe Dodecanese Islands Police Directorate stated that the following centers have been evacuated for precautionary purposes: Kiotari, Gennadi, Pelonas, Lairma, Lardos, Lindos, Kalathos Malona, ​​Asklepiou, Pefkos, Masaire, Haraki. Most of the people were transported on tour buses, coast guard vessels and private boats.

But not everyone made it. A British tourist told the BBC that she should have been evacuated from the hotel with her sister and daughter, but instead they were stranded on the beach with hundreds of other people at the mercy of fear and sweltering heat. Meteorologists have warned that the next weekend in July will be the hottest weekend in Greece in 50 years, with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius.

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Strong winds and a six-mile front of fire stretched from the center of the island to its eastern shores Firefighters spokesman Vassilis Varthakogiannis told local television that they were creating harsh conditions. “The flames are still out of control, this is not a fire that will end tomorrow or the day after tomorrow – he predicted – it will last for days.”

In Athens, the Foreign Ministry said it had activated its crisis management unit to facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals in Greece. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis traveled to the National Coordination Center for Civil Defense Operations and Crisis Management in Athens, and was kept updated on the progress of the fires and efforts to accommodate evacuated visitors to the island.